Madison Keys took one of the biggest wins of her career as she beat the world’s top ranked player for the very first time. A straight sets win over Iga Swiatek at the Cincinnati Open has secured Keys a place in the last eight against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. Despite being overjoyed with victory, 27-year-old Keys admitted that her body “feels like it’s 67”.
The American progressed to the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-4 victory, despite threatening to throw away a 5-0 lead in the second set
Speaking after the match, Keys said, “I obviously had a couple of games with a couple of match points but I’m just so happy to be able to get the win. The last time I played her, she beat me pretty badly, so I’m pretty happy to get that one under my belt.”
For Keys, it was her first time beating a world No. 1, and her first victory over Swiatek.
She won the title in Cincinnati in 2019, and said, “I love playing here. The fans are amazing. Thank you everyone for coming out and cheering.”
Madison's MOMENT ⭐️
— wta (@WTA) August 18, 2022
Having been born in Rock Island, Illinois, the tournament is something of a homecoming for Keys, with fans suggesting she is “one of their own”.
“No matter how long I live in Florida, I always consider myself a midwest girl”, Keys said.
Assessing her performance – in which she won ten games in the middle of the match – Keys admitted that her body is hurting, but that fails to take away the joy of victory.
She said: “It feels amazing. Sometimes my body doesn’t remember that I’m only 27, feels like it’s 67, but I’m so happy to be able to be still playing some really great tennis, and obviously being in my first quarter for a couple of months feels amazing, and to do it here just means the world to me.”
Keys will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the last eight.
As for Swiatek, she looked far from the player who has dominated the women’s game this year.
She has been doing a lot of talking at the tournament this week, hitting out at US Open organisers for using different tennis balls to the men. It is the only Grand Slam where the balls differ between the men’s and women’s games, with the latter using lighter balls.
Second seed Anett Kontaveit is also out of the competition, after losing to Zhang Shuai, who came from a set down to take victory.