No.9 seeded American Madison Keys sealed the perfect comeback to action with a hard-fought straight-sets victory over Mariana Duque-Mariño at the BNP Paribas Open.
WTA Staff

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - No.9 seeded American Madison Keys sealed the perfect comeback to action with a hard-fought straight-sets victory over Mariana Duque-Mariño at the BNP Paribas Open.

Keys was playing in her first match of the year after missing two months following left wrist surgery during the off season. But she shook off the rust against the Colombian, tamping down a late Duque-Mariño comeback to advance 6-1, 7-5 in an hour and thirty minutes.

"It felt really good," Keys said, speaking to press after the match. "You know, I really, really missed competing and being able to go out there and get a win on top of it was amazing.

"There was a couple of points where it's like, 'Oh, that was rusty.' I think [I'm] just kind of finding that rhythm and that groove again. It's coming back slowly, but, you know, I think I'm kind of figuring it out."

The American was bossing the rallies from the start, relying on her heavy groundstrokes and booming serve to keep Duque-Mariño on the back foot. The Colombian brought up two break points early on, but wasn't able to make a dent on the Keys serve as she was broken twice to drop the opening set.

Keys continued her romp into the second, going up a quick double break over a passive Duque-Mariño.

But having her back against the wall and being down 6-1, 4-0 seemed to galvanize the Colombian into action, and she changed her tactics to be more aggressive and hold her own against Keys. She saved seven match points to claw her way back from the brink and level the score at 5-5.

Looking increasingly frustrated, the American stopped the rot of five straight games with a commanding break back, halting Duque-Mariño's momentum. She finally closed out her eighth match point with a crisp backhand passing shot to seal the victory in her first match back.

She'll face Naomi Osaka in the third round after the Japanese teenager defeated Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-2.

"She's a big hitter and she goes for her shots. She's a really great player," Keys assessed. "It's going to be tough. I'm going to have to go and talk to everyone and figure out a good game plan."