Elina Svitolina vs. Madison Keys: US Open, 4th Round Preview

 

The great match-ups just keep on coming as the number four seed, Elina Svitolina faces her toughest test yet against the number 15 seed, Madison Keys. The pair will meet in a fourth round blockbuster match-up on Monday in last 16 action at the US Open. Both players are seeking to reach their first ever quarter-final at the US Open.

Svitolina has had a challenging draw to contend with – she needed three sets to get past a dangerous, Katerina Siniakova in the first round and then fended off a late and valiant charge from Shelby Rogers in the third round, advancing with a 6-3 7-5 victory. Rogers broke Svitolina when she was serving for the match with some big winners, saving three match points in the process. Svitolina stayed in the present and managed to get the job done in straight sets, winning on match point with a dead net cord.

Keys faced her toughest match of the tournament on Saturday night/Sunday morning, recovering from a slow start to beat a fading, Elena Vesnina, 2-6 6-4 6-1. In a match that finished at 01:46am local time, Keys took some time to find her range. After sneaking out the second set, the American played a fine third set, not facing a break point against an albeit crumbling, Vesnina. The Russian player netted a string of forehands as Keys kept things steady, battling well from the baseline and hitting seven winners to six unforced errors in the final set.

Head-to-head record: In their only previous match, Keys beat Svitolina in New Haven by retirement, leading 7-6(4) 4-2.

Interesting stat: Svitolina is into the second week of the US Open for the first time in her career. For Keys, it is the third time in a row that she has reached the last 16 – she’s yet to break through into a quarter-final.

Final thoughts: When the draw came out, I was really hoping we’d get this match-up – i’m thrilled to see both players make it! Pre-tournament I tentatively went for Keys, yet now i’ve probably swung back to Svitolina. Keys has the raw power to outhit Svitolina yet she’ll need to play a very solid match to keep it up for two sets. Keys did not have much success against the counter-punchers in 2016 although she seems to be in a much better place this year, both physically and mentally. Svitolina is oozing confidence and going after her shots with more conviction than ever before. Her ability to reset after disappointments have made her one of the toughest competitors on the WTA tour.

Photos in this post by Omar Boraby

13 thoughts on “Elina Svitolina vs. Madison Keys: US Open, 4th Round Preview

  1. I was surprised you went with Keys. Her losses have generally come to defensive types who get a lot of balls back and rush her into errors. And Svitolina’s record on hard courts is just awesome.

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    • I was a tad concerned for Svitolina on the faster hard courts but I don’t think Ashe is that fast this year. I do think it could be very competitive if Keys plays a quality match, but i’m now going for Svitolina.

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      • Yeah ,the court speed is more critical for Svitolina here. Toronto is fairly slow which suits her. I’m glad I picked her now.Still,it’s a tough one.

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  2. If Monday’s forecast for Corona Park holds up – 28 DC, which is much warmer (hot for this time of year), and less humid, 54 %, which is just there still, in the comfortable range and not so heavy. As opposed to today which is 22 DC, and 75 % humidity. Should speed things up and assist Madison. So advantage Madison, as well as the home crowd, which at this years open; has been brutally in favour of their own. I would say, I don’t believe that Madison has the mental strength – but this are totally in her favour.

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    • Interesting points about the weather. I see it’s going to be the night match which Madison will be accustomed to having already played two night sessions this tournament.

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  3. My first thought was that this one is Madison’s match to win but since Elina’s hitting serves in the 108-110 mph region, I think she’s in with a chance.

    Just a thought on Carla S-N, who’s playing Venus on her (Carla’s) birthday. Four years ago and again on her birthday, she played Serena and suffered a 6-0, 6-0 shutout, only winning 18 points in the entire match. I hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

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    • I remember that match. It was absolutely brutal! It was the only time I’d have liked for Serena to have gone a little easy on her prey.

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  4. Svitolina/Rogers(both favorites) match—The Svit was up 5-3 in the 2nd set and lost 3 MPs and was then broken to go 5-4. As Andrew mentioned before, The Svit was very emotionally shaken, lower lip trembling and looking like she was ready to burst into tears. I thought The Svit would lose very point the rest of the match. Rogers won the next game on serve and then Svitolina won the next two games and the match. I was amazed that Svitolina could regain control of her emotions and win the match.

    Only 3 daytime WTA singles matches on Monday and two of the matches start at exactly the same time!!!

    Kala Kanepi is up 269 ranking positions.

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    • Svitolinas was having easy opponents so far up to this stage. You are right. Based on what I saw in the Rogers/Svitolina match, Keys will take this match. Also, AA court surface is not slower than last year. When someone like Keys can hit so hard, there is marginally difference between the morning and night sessions on the AA court surface. Svitolina will find it hard to retrieve/return some heavy hitting shots from Keys. Mark my words, Davenport will ask Keys to hit as hard as she can. This is the way to beat Svitolina.

      Safarova will beat Vandeweghe with her consistent hard hitting ground strokes. Vandeweghe will have problems to keep it up. She should realize that Safarova is not Radwanska.

      Pliskova and Kasatkina will also go through. Perhaps, Pliskova will have a rough start again.

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