Madison Keys outslugs CoCo to win at Stanford
Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe had never played on opposite sides of the net, just together on Fed Cup for the US, bonding and becoming friends during that extended stay in Australia in April last year.
They sure put on an entertaining show of tennis when they finally faced off for the first time Sunday. Third-seeded Keys outslugged No. 6 Vandeweghe 7-6 (4), 6-4 to win the Bank of the West Classic in a thrilling display of power and serving by the two young American stars in their first career matchup. Afterward, they hugged and Keys playfully sat on her opponent’s lap. Keys couldn’t quite believe it took them this long to meet up in a match that mattered. She won her third career singles title and first on hardcourt playing under cloudless skies at Stanford. The champ finally got her chance by rallying back to deuce in the ninth game of the second set, when Vandeweghe surrendered her first service game after she saved two break points moments earlier. Vandeweghe hadn’t dropped a set all tournament until the final.
“It feels amazing to have a title at home and on hardcourt,” Keys said. “It means a lot. It’s my first title in the States against a friend.” After smacking a clean crosscourt forehand winner on match point, Keys raised her hands in the air in triumph then gave Vandeweghe a hug at the net before waving to the crowd. Keys stayed after the trophy ceremony to sign autographs. Keys, who missed the first two months of the season following surgery on her left wrist, eliminated Wimbledon champion and top-seeded Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-2 in just 57 minutes Saturday night to snap Muguruza’s nine-match winning streak and advance to her first final this year.
A day later, Keys needed nearly that amount of time to win the first-set tiebreaker: The opening set lasted 53 minutes then the second just 35. Keys brilliantly returned serve and routinely pumped in her own serves from 114-118 mph to keep Vandeweghe on the defensive.
There were times during her wrist rehab she wondered if her tennis would ever return to top form. These two generate so much power from their tall frames. Vandeweghe is 6 foot 1 and Keys stands 5 foot 10. “It was a high quality match from both players,” Vandeweghe said. “It was definitely a really tight two-set match. It was fun to play. It was fun to kind of play a friend and have an all-American final. —AP
STANFORD: Madison Keys, right, of the United States, holds the winner’s plate next to Coco Vandeweghe, left, of the United States, with the runner-up plate, after the final in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif. — AP