The Volvo Car Open gave Madison Keys far more than she expected in Charleston, South Carolina. First, it was a reunion that resulted in success with coach Juan Todero, second, her first championship in over two years.
This was the first clay court tournament of the season, and one Keys was unsure of, that and whether she and Todero would blend well together again. Keys who is known for not favouring clay surfaces but her concerns were short lived after making it to the final on Sunday and defeating Caroline Wozniacki in two sets (7-6, 6-3). Commenting on the week, Keys said,
“It was a really good first week. I hope we keep this up.”
Keys was referring to her performance and relationship with Todero, who coached the star in 2013 and 2014. Currently, Madison Keys is ranked 18th, and her performance in the final saw her hitting big serves and forehands that overwhelmed Wozniacki. At one point, Keys hit a 121 mph serve and with power like that, helped herself towards her fourth win on the WTA Tour.
Wozniacki managed to lead the first set 6-5 after surviving three deuces. That lead to a first set tiebreaker after Keys responded winning the next four points and won the tiebreaker and first set. After falling behind 2-0 in the second, she again responded and won the next seven points, one of which included a backhand return that Wozniacki thought was out but fell within the baseline. Commenting on the error Wozniacki, who was one no.1, said,
“Sometimes you miscalculate in a bad moment.”
Keys made most of her progress in the second set winning four out of the final five games. She also won break points four times in a row against Wozniacki’s serve and clearly dominated the more experienced Dane.
Wozniacki, who previously has defeated Keys in both their meetings, was unable to respond against Keys and stated that she was too good. As the final game ended, Keys raised her fists in celebration. It was her first win this season and with it, continues the trend that has seen a different winner in all tournaments this year.
Arriving early in Charleston, Keys worked closely with Todero for ten days and felt the reunion of the pair was positive. To date, Keys has four major titles under her belt including the 2017 U.S. Open champion and the 2018 Australian. Commenting on expectations she sets for herself, Keys stated,
The combination of personalities between Keys and Todero works well. Keys has said that Todero’s positivity helps her when she is down, just as it does when she is up as he focuses on laughing and being upbeat versus previous problems.
The WTA next moves onto the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogota, Colombia and simultaneously, the Samsung Open in Lugano,
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