US Open Day 7, 4th Round Preview: Serena Williams v Madison Keys

Keys

The first quarter of the women’s draw has yielded a number of all-American clashes but none match up to what will await us in the fourth round. In her quest for the Calendar Slam, Serena Williams faces her toughest test yet up against Madison Keys. Once again, Madison is peaking at the Slams. The 20 year old American has reached the semi-finals and quarter-finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon respectively, and the third round at the French Open on her weakest surface. After a mixed summer that saw her produce some excellent first round performances but unable on each occasion to back it up, Keys has tore through her US Open draw dropping just 14 games in 3 matches. Keys finally captured an elusive win over Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round, powering home with a straightforward 6-3 6-2 victory. Keys finished with stats of 30 winners and 23 unforced errors.

Serena was on the brink in her third round match once again, as she has been so many times at the Slams this year. Two games from defeat, Serena won the last eight games of her third round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 3-6 7-5 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes. It sounded like an incredible night session in New York with Fabio Fognini (!) producing a stirring comeback from two sets down to beat Rafael Nadal. My Twitter timeline was hysterical…

Serena hasn’t loss a Grand Slam match since Wimbledon last year against Alizé Cornet. It is the nature of her wins though that has been most impressive. In 24 Slam matches this year, Serena has won 10 of them in three sets and come from a set down on 8 occasions. No-one has quite had the nerve to take out Serena yet at a Slam. Perhaps Madison might have a chance? Pre-tournament, she would definitely have been on my list (a short one) of players to at least have a shot. While we’ve seen some nerves and wobbly moments during the year, Keys is a big time player who has produced her most convincing tennis on the big stage.

In their only previous match, Serena defeated Madison at the Australian Open. Keys was struggling with a leg injury but gave a great account of herself with Serena eventually prevailing, 7-6(5) 6-2. Keys has already had an excellent tournament, taking out a higher seed and reaching the second week of the US for the first time. She will most likely thrive in the underdog role. If Madison shows up, Serena will have to play a fine match to prevail…

Prediction: S.Williams d. Keys in 3 sets

18 thoughts on “US Open Day 7, 4th Round Preview: Serena Williams v Madison Keys

  1. The WTA Addict website said Madison Keys would defeat Serena Williams in three sets, as the prediction. But, I find that hard to believe and not true. It’s very difficult to predict where Serena will hit her forehand and backhand shots.

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  2. I think the result of this match depends on how guilty Keys would feel if she ended Serena’s Calender Grand Slam hopes. For example, there is absolutely no way Venus will beat Serena if they meet in QFs as she won’t stop her sister from making history.

    If Keys really wants this and feels no sympathy for Serena (during the match) I think she will prevail. No women has made QF @ all 4 Grand Slams in a year since 2009 and for some reason I think the tennis gods will want to keep this streak going.

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      • Jade, I’m not a Serena player. I prefer her to many players on the WTA tour. Obviously if Serena plays anywhere near her best she’ll win but the pressure is only going to increase each round and for some reason I feel that the tennis gods have decided that keys will win.

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      • Keys managed to beat Aga for two obviously reasons:

        1. Playing at night, the balls bound exactly the height and position just Keys loves to hit (unlike Wimbledon, the balls bounded lower so Keys found the net all the time)
        2. Lack of powers.

        Keys needs extra gears to beat Serena. Serena will make her plays extra shots like AO2015. When someone able to match her powers to play for extra balls, she will crumble.

        All the girls wiould love to see Serena losing this one. Sorry, it won’t happen.

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    • You make a very good point about NO WAY IN **** will Venus stand in her little sister’s way of making history. Will Venus tank her next match so she doesn’t have to face her sister, its possible. No way, no way would Venus even try to win against Serena with whats at stake. Something to keep an eye on for sure

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    • Let’s not forget that whoever also beats Serena is also in a way making history by being the person who prevented that great run. You’ll become a part of this very history.

      That being said, Keys herself has not been freewheeling through the tournament. If you’ve been following her progress, she’s had her patches of pressure and very poor play. It is easier to confidently play someone like Aga than a fellow hard hitting american player like Serena. Of course, she will want to win, this is also her home tournament and she is a professional player like everyone else. The first thing her coach( Lindsay Davenport) should remind her of, is not to sympathize with her opponent because history is at stake. That will be a classic loser’s mentality.

      If I recall correctly, Venus Williams has stood in the way of Serena winning several Slams before. Had she allowed Serena easy passage then, we may not be even talking about this USopen because Serena would have probably surpassed Graf’s slam records a while back. I can appreciate why some may think there should be a ‘sisterhood cause’ here to allow history to happen. It may be so…we’ll see. The real polish on the history making run is if Serena does this as Serena Williams, on her own terms and as the tennis player we know her to be. Any good fortune along the way is just that, a bonus, but tennis should come first.

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  3. Aga needs to gain some muscles and get energy. She looked tired and was over hitting the ball. She didn’t play her usually game and she was returning most of Keys balls back.

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    • Yes, I feel she needs rest or time away from the game to recharge her game( brain). It seems her inspirational edge is missing and she’s more or less coasting through the season. She did find abit of form during the grass swing. I think she has a love for the smell of the green grass. But, I don’t think she will ever bulk up, that just doesn’t seem like her personality. She may learn how to hit harder with her given frame. Like Pironkova, Giorgi and others, there are some girls with slight body types who hit pretty well.

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      • Aga looks sick and old. You see how good Petra looks now. Age needs some muscle mass regardless if she is playing tennis or not and having muscle doesn’t make you look bulky. Aga is looking terrible.

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  4. Keys may have the games to beat Serena but not now. So far, Keys has not met any resistant in her last few matches in USO. She will melt down when someone able to match her ground strokes like Kvitova did in NH. She can win only when Serena plays bad tennis. Period!

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  5. Im predicting Keys wins today. After giving this long thought, I actually think Venus will make a longer run in this tournament than Serena. Most will disagree but I really like Keys chances today.

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  6. Serena looking well today! With that said, we’ll see much more of Madison Keys in the future. She’s got game! That kick serve is a beauty.

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  7. Serena was calm,cool and collected on court today,great in every department,serve,defense,best performance so far in this tournament,she plays her big sis next:)

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      • I was actually hoping Venus would lose because that would have halted all of the “tank” talk WHEN Serena beats Venus. This match can only take away from Serena’s run at history when she wins. What people fail to realize is there will still be two more matches for her to win. Venus has no control over what happens to her baby sister after their match. IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER!

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