LINZ, Austria - Madison Keys weathered a mid-match storm to win Wednesday's first-round match against Camila Giorgi at the Generali Ladies Linz and move one step closer to qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
By reaching the semifinals last week in Beijing, Keys put herself in the driving seat to claim one of the three remaining places in Singapore. However, with all her qualification rivals in action this week - and fewer than 100 points separating her from ninth-placed Dominika Cibulkova - work still needs to be done.
Against Giorgi she kept her end up, reeling off the final four games of the match to run out a 6-3, 6-4 winner. "Definitely feels good to get a win. Camila's always a tough person to play - she really goes for her shots and hits a lot of winners out there. I feel really happy to get through to the second round," Keys, who faces Misaki Doi next, said.
"I think I got a little bit passive and started letting her dictate the points a little, so I knew I had to step up and go out and play my game because she wasn't going to give it to me."
With 280 points on offer to the champion, Keys' hopes could lay in the balance even if she goes deep into the draw this week. Despite the high stakes, the American is cutting a characteristically relaxed figure in Linz, where the conditions are perfectly suited to her big game.
"It's definitely a lot faster here, but it's a good court and I definitely like playing on fast courts so I'm happy to be here," she added.