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McHale, Keys march to semifinals in Strasbourg

May 22, 2014 04:10 PM
Madison Keys reached her second semifinal of 2014 in Strasbourg.

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

Madison Keys and Christina McHale both prevailed in their quarterfinal matches on Thursday at the WTA event in Strasbourg, France bringing them one step closer to an all-American final in the last tuneup before the 2014 French Open.

Keys prevailed in a rain-delayed match against Julia Goerges of Germany, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, advancing to her second semifinal of 2014 (She also reached the semis at the Australian Open tuneup in Sydney.) The American trailed, 2-0, in the final set before showers forced both players off court.

Keys, 19, made good use of the rain delay. Showing more patience and a margin for error on her forehand, she waited for the right opportunities to attack and stormed through the last six games of the match. She’ll play fellow up-and-comer Monica Puig of Puerto Rico for a place in the Strasbourg final.

Currently ranked No. 43, Keys has all the tools to pull off big wins on clay. Last year, she upset current world No. 2 Li Na in the opening round of the WTA Premiere event in Madrid.

Meanwhile, McHale prevailed against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, 6-2, 2-1, ret. The New Jersey native was in complete control of the match; her opponent became visibly hampered in the second set with a right hamstring strain. McHale has been on cruise control this week in Strasbourg, dropping just 14 games in her opening three rounds.

Currently ranked No. 59, the 22-year-old has been enjoying an impressive 2014 after struggling with injuries in recent years. She reached her first WTA final last March in Acapulco, Mexico, and came within two games of beating Maria Sharapova earlier this month in Madrid. She also reached the third round last week at the WTA Premiere event in Rome. She’ll play Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain for a chance at her second WTA final of the year.

Both Keys and McHale will play their semifinal matches on Friday.



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