Madison Keys' excellent 2024 run on the red clay of Europe hit new heights on Saturday, as she captured her first title of the year by cruising past her compatriot Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-2 at the WTA 500 Internationaux de Strasbourg.

In the all-American final, No.4 seed Keys powered her way to victory over No.3 seed Collins in just 72 minutes of play. It is Keys' eighth career WTA singles title, and her first on red clay (she also won the Charleston title on green clay in 2019).

"I feel amazing," Keys said afterwards. "I went into today knowing that I was going to have to play some really good tennis in order to beat Danielle. She’s been playing absolutely incredibly the last couple of months, and she’s always a really tough opponent.

"I went into today thinking, ‘OK, I’m just going to really go for everything that I can, and play some really good tennis,’ and things worked out."

Competitors in stellar form: Keys has done something very few players have been able to do of late -- defeat Collins. Coming into Saturday's final, Collins had won 22 of her past 24 matches, with her only two losses in that stretch coming to World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka.

However, Keys was also in spectacular form entering the final, rebounding from a late start to the season. Keys missed the first two months of 2024 action while rehabbing her shoulder, making her season debut at Indian Wells in March.

After a loss in her opening clay-court match on the green clay of Charleston, Keys has gone 10-3 on red clay this spring, also reaching the Madrid semifinals and the Rome quarterfinals. The only player to beat Keys on red clay so far this year: World No.1 Iga Swiatek.

Keys and Collins had split their two previous meetings, but those were both on hard court, and they had not faced off since 2020. On Saturday, Keys mastered the dirt, winning 71 percent of points returning the Collins second serve, and converting six of her 16 break points.

Olivier Renaud

Collins boldly saved four championship points in the final game of the match, but Keys converted her fifth chance with a forehand return winner crosscourt. With the straight-sets win, Keys completed a nearly flawless week in Strasbourg, where she did not drop a set.

"I think I really balanced going after my shots and trying to be the aggressor, while also defending when necessary and keeping the pressure on," Keys said. "Overall, there’s really no complaints and a lot of confidence that I can take into Roland Garros."

Despite her loss on Saturday, former World No.7 Collins will still be rewarded for her outstanding play of late -- she is projected to re-enter the Top 10 on Monday, which will be her first appearance in that echelon since August 2022.

Doubles nail-biter: Earlier on Saturday, Cristina Bucsa of Spain and Monica Niculescu won a closely-contested doubles final, edging past Asia Muhammad of the United States and Indonesia's Aldila Sutjiadi 3-6, 6-4, [10-6] in 1 hour and 32 minutes.

After splitting the first two sets, Bucsa and Niculescu rolled to a commanding 9-1 lead in the match-tiebreak, grabbing eight match points. However, Muhammad and Sutjiadi reeled off the next five points in a row before the champions converted their sixth opportunity.

It is the 11th career WTA doubles title for 36-year-old Niculescu, but her first title on tour since 2021.

Bucsa, meanwhile, is on a doubles roll, winning her third WTA doubles title of the year and her fourth overall. Already this season, Bucsa won back-to-back titles at WTA 250 Bogota (with Kamilla Rakhimova) and on home soil at WTA 1000 Madrid (with Sara Sorribes Tormo).