12/05/2016 – (www.wtatennis.com) Madison Keys backed up her win over No.5 seed Petra Kvitova with a two-set triumph over Timea Babos to reach her first Premier 5 quarterfinal on clay.
Madison Keys gritted through a tough opening set to battle past Timea Babos, 7:6(2), 6:3, to achieve a career-best result at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
There was little between the two in the opening set, as the Hungarian forced a tie-break to conclude a run of 12 straight service holds.
“The first set was definitely back and forth, just big serving,” Keys said in her post-match press conference. “Neither one of us could kind of get a read on where the other person was serving. But there was a couple of points in the tiebreaker where I really kind of put the point together a little bit better.”
But Keys took the initiative from there, racing out to a 5-1 lead in the sudden death and didn’t look back, taking the match in 82 minutes behind 26 winners to 22 unforced errors.
“Then after that, I just got a little bit more rhythm and confidence, and then from there I was able to break early in the second. That definitely helped the momentum kind of go more towards my side.”
Both had earned upsets during Wednesday’s night session, but Babos’ nearly three hour win over former No.1 Venus Williams seemed to take its toll in the second set, as the Hungarian could only muster 16 winners and 26 unforced errors, only engineering one break point opportunity in two sets.
“I usually don’t do great here,” Keys continued. “And so, you know, putting a couple wins together felt really good. I’m not going to jinx it,” she said, knocking on wood.
“It feels like I’m kind of figuring it out just a little bit better. From there, you know, I’m putting more points together and kind of putting it all together a little bit better than before.
Awaiting Keys in her first Premier 5 clay court quarterfinal is Barbora Strycova, who played a perfect match to dismantle Eugenie Bouchard, 6:1, 6:0.