Keys Fights Past Kerber To Advance In Cincinnati
Madison Keys notched her first hard court win over Angelique Kerber Thursday afternoon to book her spot in the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open, her first such appearance.
Keys, the thirteen seed, came into the match trailing the head to head 1-7 against  Kerber and had not taken a set off of the German in their last four matches. Kerber had also won their last five meetings.
But today belonged to the American, as Keys shook off a slow start to fire 55 winners and 9 aces en route to a 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 victory.
Unforced errors spewed off Keys’ racquet in the first set, allowing the German to race to a 5-1 lead. Kerber would take the first set two games later, 6-2.
Madison got her teeth into the second set, finding her first break point at 2-2 but wasn’t able to make good on it. Kerber would punish Keys in the next game, converting her fourth break point of that game.
Keys would break back in the very next game and not much would separate the two women over the next five games as the second set went to a tiebreak.
“You know, once I broke, I felt like I finally kind of started figuring out how I wanted to play and how to be patient but also going for it at the right time,” Keys said her mindset in the comeback. “I felt like I really found my rhythm there.”
Kerber would race to a 4-1 lead before before Keys rattled off six straight points to take the second set tiebreak 7-4 and force a decisive third set.
Keys would further find her footing in the match, using a big kick serve and booming ground strokes from both the forehand and backhand side.
After a close eight games to open the third set it was Keys who earned the set’s first break point for either woman, which she converted. She would serve out the match, dispatching the reigning Wimbledon champion in just under two hours.
Up next for Madison Keys is young Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka who beat  Caroline Garcia 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.