In the China Open quarterfinals, Madison Keys ended the eight-match winning streak of Petra Kvitova, who had roared through the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open tournament and then dropped just ten games in her first two matches this week in Beijing.
In the first set between players both clad in the orange version of the Nike Winter Dry Slam Tank and Nike Winter Flex Victory Premier Skirt, the eighth-seeded Keys made 12 winners and just one unforced error, but Kvitova was good as well and the American edged the first set 6-3. Both players earned three break points in the set, but Kvitova converted none, while Keys’ one conversion gave her the upper hand.
In the second set, seed No.14 Kvitova fought back from a break down three times (from 0-1, 2-4, and 5-6) and raced through the tiebreak 7-2.
The 21-year-old Keys stormed to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but her Czech opponent recovered to 3-all and even had 40-0 on Keys’ serve at 4-all. Keys battled hard to hold that serve and she did. The match progressed into a tiebreak and Keys edged it 7-5. The world No.9 Keys saved 10 of 11 break points in the third set! Final score: 6-3 6-7(2) 7-6(5).
In the semifinals, Keys will face world No.14 Johanna Konta, who ended the surprise run of Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-0. The world No.36 Zhang opened the match with a 4-0 lead, but lost all the subsequent games!