Oh. My. Goodness. In her young career Madison Keys has shown power, skill and athleticism. On day 5, in her third round match at the 2016 US Open, the 8th seed escaped a spirited upset bid from another up and coming player, Naomi Osaka, by showing tremendous heart. Maddie appeared down and out at 1-5 down in the final set but instead stormed back to win 5 games in a row to get to 6-5. She would eventually complete the comeback in a tiebreak, finally getting by Osaka, 7-5 4-6 7-6 (3). After spending much of the match spraying too many unforced errors, Keys locked in when it counted the most, especially in the 2-5 8th game with a spectacular volley to win the opening point against Naomi’s serve. Like many hardcore tennis fans, I’ve learned a lot about Maddie over the past few years. Today I learned to never count her until the last point is played.
With her father looking on from the stands, Naomi shed tears on court as victory was slipping away. I imagine there might have been more tears shed after she left the court in defeat. However, Osaka should stand tall after the effort she gave on this day. More than that, the 18-year old’s game is starting to come together. There were times today…a lot of times, really…that Naomi was overpowering Keys, herself known for her strength of shot. If she continues to grow as a player, her future will be bright. I would love to see repeats of this match-up over the next 10 years.
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI d. Monica Niculescu, 6-3 6-1
13 JOHANNA KONTA d. 24 Belinda Bencic, 6-2 6-1
14 PETRA KVITOVA d. 22 Elina Svitolina
8 MADISON KEYS d. Naomi Osaka, 7-5 4-6 7-6 (3)