The Wait For Keys To Win Adelaide Title Was Worth It

Madison Keys (photo: James Elsby / Tennis Australia)

ADELAIDE/WASHINGTON, January 15, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

It’s taken more than two years for American Madison Keys to win a WTA title but it’s been worth the wait.

On Saturday afternoon, Keys returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since winning the Western & Southern Open in 2019 by triumphing at the WTA 250 Adelaide International 2 in South Australia. The former World No. 7 from the United States won her sixth career title with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over fellow American Alison Riske.

Keys, whose ranking had plummeted to No. 87 – her lowest in nine years following a difficult 2021 season, in which she went 11-15 – dominated the 66-minute final against the 57th-ranked Riske, who advanced to the title match after her semifinal opponent, Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, pulled out before the Friday match with an abdominal injury. Saturday’s title victory was Keys’ sixth straight in seven career meetings with Riske going back over the past eight years.

“I’m really happy with how today went,” Keys said in press. “I think I started really well and just had the momentum. There were a couple of opportunities where momentum could have switched, and I think I did a really good job of just regrouping and continuing to focus on my side of the court. Really happy to get a win.”

Keys won 71 percent (34 of 48) of her service points and 54 percent (28 of 52) of her return points against Riske. She did not face any break points and broke her opponent’s serve four times in nine tries. Keys outpointed Riske 62-38.


“I think the biggest takeaway is that things can switch at any moment,” Keys added. “As long as you can continue to have the right mindset and keep going for things and keep working hard, things will get better if they’re not going well as long as you just have the right mindset and continue to have a good attitude about it.”

This week, Keys, who will rise into the Top 60 at No. 51 – making her the sixth-ranked American woman – as she readies to play No. 11 seed and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the first round, beat five higher-ranked players during the week at Memorial Drive, including No. 2 Elina Svitolina in the opening round, No. 48 Tereza Martincova in the second round, No. 8 Liudmilla Samsonova in the quarterfinals and No. 3 seed Coco Gauff in the semifinals. Both the Samsonova and Gauff matches were extended to three sets.

“I’m just really happy that I’ve been able to put together a lot of good matches together,” said Keys, whose heads off to the Australian Open with a 6-1 record against Kenin, the top-ranked American woman. “But the biggest thing that I’m taking away this week is even after being in positions where I lost the first set or things might not be going my way, just having a really collected mindset of ‘I can figure this out,’ and if I don’t, I go back onto the practice court and I figure it out tomorrow. Being really conscious of that on the court.”

• On Friday, No. 3 seeds Makoto Ninomiya and Eri Hozumi, both of Japan, defeated Tereza Martincova and Marketa Vondrousova, both of the Czech Republic, 1-6, 7-6 (4),10-7, to win the Adelaide International 2 doubles title. It was the Japanese pair’s first title together.

Badosa beats Krejcikova for third WTA title at Sydney Tennis Classic

Paula Badosa and Barbora Krejcikova were among the greatest success stories on the WTA tour in 2021. Both enjoyed career-best seasons and each qualified for the year-end finals in Guadalajara. As they began the new season both ranked in the Top 10 – Krejcikova at No. 4 and Badosa at No. 9 – the two elite players renewed their budding rivalry for the third time in the final of the WTA 500 Sydney Tennis Classic inside Ken Rosewall Arena Saturday afternoon.

As she had done in their first two meetings (on clay in Madrid and on a hardcourt at Indian Wells), the No. 5 seed Badosa came out the winner, this time 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), in two hours and 22 minutes. The match was close, at times showed the power both possess and once the final point ended, it was Badosa who took home her third career WTA singles title in two years following title runs in Belgrade and Indian Wells last season.

A day after the No. 3 seed Krejcikova needed a 14-12 third-set tie break outcome and seven saved match points to beat No. 4 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the semifinals just to reach the championship match, this time there would be no miracle finishes against Badosa, who will rise to a career-high No. 6 in the WTA rankings on Monday when the Australian Open begins in Melbourne. Instead, it was Badosa who went ahead early in the tie break and won on her second match-point opportunity.

The level of the final, the 24-year-old Badosa admitted in her press conference, left her feeling “super excited.” She called her tuneup week in Sydney in advance of the Australian Open amazing.

“Amazing week, amazing final. I’m very happy,” she said.

“I’m really happy that I won my way. I think the good thing is that I played in a very high level and that I fought until the end.

“It’s very nice, as I said in the ceremony. We broke into the Top 100, it was like the same year, almost the same week. So, it’s very nice to now be both in Top 10 and playing big finals, and I hope we can play much more, because it’s very nice to play against her.”

The two could wind up facing each other again in the Australian Open quarterfinals if seedlings hold true to form. Badosa (5-1) will be the No. 8 seed in Melbourne and face Australia’s 43rd-ranked Ajla Tomljanovic in the opening round. The two played the week in Sydney with Badosa winning 6-3, 6-4 in a second-round match. Meanwhile, the World No. 4 Krejcikova is seeded fourth and plays No. 73 Andrea Petkovic of Germany in the first round.

Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan and Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil won the Sydney Tennis Classic doubles title with a 4-6, 7-5, 10-8 win over Vivian Heisen of Germany and Panna Udvardy of Hungary in an hour and 35 minutes.

The winners are both undefeated in doubles finals. Danilina improved to 2-0 after winning a title at Gdynia, Poland, and Haddad Maia is now 3-0 after winning two titles, in 2015 and 2017, in Bogota, Colombia.

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