After her record-setting 2 a.m. finish in the first round, Keys is certainly pleased that her straight sets victory over fellow American Kayla Day went much quicker. Keys needed just 49 minutes to complete the 6-1, 6-1 victory.
"It's funny because this is still technically a late finish, but I'll take this one over the 2:00 a.m. any day," Keys joked in her post-match press conference. "I was really happy that I got on the court, kind of went out there and did what I wanted to do from the start, and was able to get off the court as a semi-decent hour."
At 16 years old, Day was the youngest woman in the second round after she advanced past an ailing Madison Brengle. She was thoroughly outgunned and outplayed by Keys, who hit 25 winners to 14 unforced errors against Day's six and 15. Keys was dominant on serve - winning 96 percent of points behind her first serve - as well as at the net, winning 92 percent of points at the net.
Earlier in the day, Kvitova faced a stern challenge from Turkish trailblazer Cagla Buyukakcay, 7-6(2), 6-3.
Buyukakcay continued her historic 2016 season at Flushing Meadows, where last round she became the first player from Turkey to feature in the US Open main draw. She entered the tournament at a career-high rank of No.66, but her meteoric rise was halted by two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova.
The No.16-ranked Czech weathered a slow start against Buyukakcay, who broke her serve to start the match. Kvitova grabbed the break back, but neither player could hang on to a lead for very long, sending the opening set into a tiebreak.
The Czech rattled off seven points in a row to shut Buyukakcay out of the first set, then a pair of late breaks in the second secured her spot in the third round.
"I'm happy how I handled the first set, especially when I was up and I couldn't really make it in on the first set," Kvitova explained.
"And the second set I know that she can still play, and she did at the end of the first set. I was trying still to be focused.
"I think the serve was a little bit better in the second set, but still I think my forehand helped me a lot today. I was just waiting for the chance to break her then."
Kvitova will face the No.22 seed Elina Svitolina for a spot in the fourth round.