Saturday, April 11, 2015

Keys and Kerber set up clash for Charleston title

Photo by Daniel Ward
Hradecka hits the clay (photo by Daniel Ward)
20-year-old star-in-the-making Madison Keys, seeded 7th at the Family Circle Cup, booked a spot in the final today when she defeated qualifier Lucie Hradecka 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals. Keys was relaxed, efficient and power-driven as she took advantage of a very tired opponent. Hradecka, because she had to go through quaifying, had already played six matches when she stepped onto Billie Jean King Stadium Court early this afternoon.

Keys' opponent will be Angelique Kerber, whose run this week was somewhat of a surprise, given that her season hasn't gone very well. The German came to life at this event, and today, her task was to beat long-time friend and defending champion Andrea Petkovic. Kerber was up to the task, retrieving balls that looked impossible to retrieve, and running Petkovic all over the court.

Photo by Daniel Ward
Photo by Daniel Ward
Serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, Kerber was broken by a suddenly more aggressive Petkovic, and there was every sign that the match might turn around and that the fans might get three sets. Petko held, but Kerber was able to end the match in her next game, with a 6-4, 6-4 victory. The two friends shared a long embrace at the net, and Kerber said later that it was hard to play a close friend, but "I think we both playing very well and we give everything we could today."

Kerber lost to Keys in the Eastbourne final last year. She defeated Keys at the 2013 Australian Open and in Sydney in 2014. Tomorrow
marks the first time the two players meet on clay.

No comments: