SINGAPORE - Madison Keys swept aside Dominika Cibulkova on Tuesday evening to breathe new life into her BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global campaign.
Two days on from a chastening defeat at the hands of Simona Halep, Keys rebounded impressively to run out a 6-1, 6-4 winner in little over an hour.
Keys stamped her authority on the match from the outset, whistling through service games and pinning Cibulkova back during the baseline exchanges. Particularly impressive was the American's forehand, and it was this wing which brought her the first break, two thumping winners helping her move 3-1 ahead.
With Cibulkova's return game nullified - she won only four points on Keys' serve in the opening set - the set did not last much longer, Keys wrapping it up after just 22 minutes with another booming delivery.
Cibulkova's journey to Singapore has been one of the feel-good stories of the year, and in the second set she displayed the fighting qualities that have characterized her season. However, despite a couple of confidence-boosting service games, the Slovak buckled at 2-2, double faulting to slip behind.
The next game she threatened to draw level, but a missed forehand and a fizzing backhand pass from her young opponent ended these hopes. This would be as close as she would come, two more quick-fire service games quelling the fightback once and for all.
While the result leaves Cibulkova's chances of qualifying for the semifinals hanging by a thread, Keys is in control of her own destiny - a straight-sets win over Angelique Kerber in her final group match will see her advance.