Madison gets Keys to Pegula’s house in New York
US Open finalist Keys came up with a clinical performance and advanced to her third career quarterfinal in Flushing Meadows,
NEW YORK: The No.17 seed Madison Keys returned to the US Open quarterfinals for the first time in five years with a 6-1, 6-3 upset of No.3 seed Jessica Pegula in an all-American showdown on Monday.
The 2017 US Open finalist Keys came up with a clinical performance and advanced to her third career quarterfinal in Flushing Meadows, and 10th overall.
The result also marks the first time that Keys, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, has made the last eight of consecutive majors since the Australian Open and Roland Garros in 2018.
Pegula is one of the most consistent performers on the WTA Tour, but on Monday, Keys blasted her off the court as she won in 61 minutes.
Pegula had come into this encounter having won 11 of her past 13 matches in the North American hard-court swing. Her win streak included a second WTA 1000 title in Montreal.
In the same period, Keys had won six matches and lost two, and the 28-year-old was troubled by a hip injury that forced her to withdraw from Montreal. Pegula had also won their only previous meeting 6-4, 7-5, in the 2022 San Diego quarterfinals.
However, on Monday, Keys overpowered her American compatriot to seal her second Top 5 win of 2023 (following her defeat of Caroline Garcia in Dubai), and her first at a major since beating Barbora Krejcikova in the 2022 Australian Open quarterfinals.
Vondrousova has not lost a set at the 2023 US Open, losing only 10 games going into the fourth-round match against America’s Peyton Stearns.
As play got underway under a hot sun, Stearns looked hot, too. She aced her very first serve, hit two winners and took the game 40-15. Vondrousova, the Czech lefty, seemed unsettled, dropped serve and found herself down 0-3 in no time. And although the No. 9 seed managed to level the set at 5-5, a rock-solid Stearns stayed ahead in the winners’ count, hitting 13 to Vondrousova’s seven. She continued to dominate in the first-set tiebreak, taking it, and the set, 7-6(3).
Vondrousova cleaned up her play in the second set, while Stearns stats slipped a bit. The half-hour set was over before the partisan crowd could catch on. The Czech took it, 6-3.
Stearns broke right back but the Czech broke yet again and when serving at 4-1, seemed determined to end the match as quickly as possible. And while the American continued to hit big, she would also donate 51 errors during the match. Vondrousova won the decider, 6-3.
Alcaraz and Medvedev advance
In men’s singles, world number one Carlos Alcaraz of Spain confidently defeated 22-year-old Italian Matteo Arnaldi in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
“The intensity from the beginning until the last ball, I think I played a really solid match, fewer mistakes, played my game, trying to go to the net all the time,” Alcaraz said. “So I’m really happy with the performance in general.”
Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia overcame Australia’s Alex de Minaur, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, advancing to the quarterfinals. The match lasted two hours and 40 minutes, marking Medvedev’s fourth quarterfinal appearance in New York in the past five years.
Two years ago, he clinched his first and only Grand Slam title by defeating Serbian legend Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
“The conditions were some of the most brutal we’ve ever played,” Medvedev commented during his on-court interview. “There was one moment where I thought I’m not going to be able to play until the end, it’s so tough. But I looked across the net and noticed he was slowing down too, so I thought okay, I can do this. Then I managed to serve much better and it changed the match.”
Medvedev’s compatriot and eighth seed, Andrey Rublev, also advanced, edging out Briton Jack Draper, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.