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Keys Edges Out Kenin In Australian Open First-Round

Jan 17th 2022

It was a tough first-round draw for Madison Keys who faced 2020 Australian Open Champion, and 11th seeded Sofia Kenin on Monday, but the American brushed it off and edged out her countrywoman 7-6, 7-5.

Relying on her big serve and powerful forehand, Keys kept her opponent on the defensive and often benefited from Kenin’s off-balance footwork. She ripped 15 aces in the match and won 84 percent of her first serves to go along with 31 winners.

Madison Keys

photo credit: REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Neither player could make inroads into their opponent’s serve in the first set, but Keys stepped up her power game in the tiebreak winning 7-2. She carried her momentum into the second set and while she made her share of unforced errors, Keys balanced it with an array of big, momentum-dictating groundstrokes.

Keys shared her mindsight going into the match in her courtside interview afterward, “At this point every first round is tough, but when you have to go up against a Grand Slam champion it's never easy,” said Keys, who reached the semifinals at Melbourne Park in 2015.

“I think knowing that she was going to compete so well, I just had a really good mentality and attitude. I had a couple of opportunities I didn’t really capitalize upon and I was able to reset and continue to play well.

Keys will face Jaqueline Cristian next.