NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.15 seed Madison Keys pulled off an emphatic comeback in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, dispatching No.17 seed Elena Vesnina, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, to complete the Round of 16 at the 2017 US Open.
"For the most part when I'm out there, I have the crowd on my side," she said in her 2AM press conferecne. "But they really helped me tonight.
"I'm just really thankful that they were there because they were a huge part of it."
Keys was aiming to make the second week of the US Open for the third straight year, and was up against stiff competition in Vesnina, who lifted the biggest title of her career on hardcourts earlier this year at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Vesnina, who had never taken a set from the young American in two previous encounters, enjoued a strong start as Keys struggled to find her range, taking the first three games and ultimately converting three of five break point opportunities to capture the opening set.
"I think I was nervous and over-amped, just thinking about a lot of things. As we all know, that combination for me is really terrible."
Keys valiantly fouight off multiple break point opportunities to start the second set - several with the help of a few handy aces - and began to get the upper hand as the match wore on, racing out to 4-1 lead.
"I just kept fighting. Even in the first set not playing well, I was trying to figure out what was going on, calm down. Once I did, I feel like I just took a big step back and honestly just started saying, 'Just make the ball up the middle of the court and work from there.'"
Though Vesnina went on a stretch of winning 12 of 15 points to level the contest at four games apiece, Keys held her nerve to edge past the Russian and tie up the contest.
Taking control in the ensuing third set, she secured the win just short of the record she herself holds for latest finish in a women's match, which currently stands at 1:48AM.
"Once we got out there, the time didn't really matter any more. It wasn't really in my mind. Now it is," she laughed. "Now I just want to go get in bed."
Standing between Keys and a maiden US Open quarterfinal is No.4 seed Elina Svitolina, who is currently one of three women who could become WTA World No.1 at the end of the fortnight.
"It's going to be really difficult. She's obviously had a phenomenal year. She's doing really well, but I get to be the underdog, which is fun. I'm looking forward to it.
"I think tonight I proved to myself that kind of any situation I can fight back and figure things out. So hopefully I'll take what I did tonight and take it into the next round."