American Madison Keys won her maiden Premier 5 title in her home country, overcoming veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 7-6(5) in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The 16th-seeded Keys was 3-5 down in each set and Kuznetsova was serving at 5-4 both times, but never earned a set point chance, as Keys eventually prevailed with 45 winners to 29 unforced errors, including 13 aces, compared to Kuznetsova’s 15 winners to 10 unforced errors.
En route to her fifth career title and second this year, the 24-year-old Keys defeated four multiple time Grand Slam champions: Venus Williams (7), Simona Halep (2), Garbine Muguruza (2), and Svetlana Kuznetsova (2). The triumph is ensuring the 2017 US Open runner-up’s ascend to the No.10 ranking, although it’s not her first time in the Top 10.
Keys was far from expecting to go this far in Cincinnati, having experienced early flameouts in her past three tournaments:
If you told me this is where I would be a week ago, I would have laughed in your face.