Madi­son Keys out­slugs CoCo to win at Stan­ford

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

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