CINCINNATI, OH, USA - No.16 seed Madison Keys stroked 32 winners and never lost serve to score a comprehensive 6-2, 6-3 victory over Venus Williams in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open.
Needing just 77 minutes to oust the seven-time major champion in the all-American quarterfinal, to set another in the semifinals against Sofia Kenin, Keys broke Williams' serve three times in the match and faced just two break points in the match overall.
Williams was undone largely by eight double faults, as she hit three to lose serve for the first time to trail 3-1 in the first set, and 18 unforced errors.
"Playing Venus, I kind of knew that I had to try to keep the ball as deep as possible, not let her be able to set and hit, because that's obviously when she's playing her best tennis," Keys said after the match.
"It was really just trying to attack through the middle. Whenever I got the chance to open the court or go for it, doing that. It's always nice to get it done in two sets, especially after a long one last night. Really happy I was able to close it out.
"It was nice to see against a really aggressive player like Venus being able to defend as well as I did. Overall, I think I'm pretty happy with almost everything I did tonight."
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The seven-time major champion went nearly a set-and-a-half without a winner, as she stroked her first in the fourth game of the second set and totaled just three for the match.
Conversely, Keys hit five aces, won 78 percent of the points on her first serve, and nearly doubled her unforced error total (17) with winners.
"I'm really happy with how well I served. She's a very, very good returner, and being able to, for the most part, have fairly straightforward service games was my favorite part," Keys added.
"I think the biggest thing, after having a couple of tough losses the last tournaments I have played, being able to bounce back, and especially after my first round here, being able to get that win and then just building on that."
Scoring her first victory over Williams in three years, Keys advanced to a second meeting with the 20-year-old Kenin this year with a spot in the Premier 5 final on the line.
The pair faced off at the Internazional BNL d'Italia in May, with Kenin rallying from a set down to score a 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 victory in the second round.
"I remember Sofia when she was, like, nine. She was training in Boca already. I have known her since she was really young," Keys said.
"I think I have to do a good job at moving the ball around and honestly just kind of expecting anything. She's really good at mixing things up and trying to take you out of your game. Just being super aware of that, and just staying really focused the entire match."