She may not consider herself a grass court specialist just yet, but American teenager Keys is rapidly carving out a reputation as one of the most dangerous players on the surface. Her big forehand and even bigger serve have drawn flattering comparisons with Serena Williams and have proved too much for both Jelena Jankovic and defending champion Elena Vesnina at Devonshire Park.
The Turning Point
Virginia Wade, in 1976, was the last British player to reach the final in Eastbourne, and Watson's chances of following in her footsteps suffered an early setback when she was broken in the second game. The Briton had an immediate chance to hit back, but an ace and a vicious crosscourt forehand snuffed out the danger. This was as close as she would come, Keys closing out the set with successive love holds.
Things went from bad to worse for Watson at the start of the second, as she dropped serve from 40-0 up before wasting three rare break points in the next game. With the match now firmly under control, Keys moved through the gears, rattling off the final three games for the loss of just four points.
"I'm really excited to be into the final," Keys said. "I definitely like grass. I think I was serving really well and had a couple of good return games and that was kind of the match!"
In the final, USANA Ambassador Keys will face Angelique Kerber, who won a high-quality encounter with Caroline Wozniacki. Kerber has won their two previous matches and Keys is expecting another difficult encounter.
"She's a great player, we've played before and I've not done so well. Obviously she's playing well and she's always fighting so it should be a good match."