KEYS BEATS VANDEWEGHE
IN All-American Stanford FINAL
Ashley Marshall | August 6, 2017
Less than a year after undergoing surgery on her wrist, Madison Keys proved she's back to full health in the run-up to the 2017 US Open.
Keys (pictured above) did not lose serve in defeating fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe, 7-6, 6-4, in the final of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif., the first women's event of the 2017 US Open Series. The title was the third of the 22-year-old's career.
It was the first women's final contested between two Americans not involving a Williams sister since 2003, when Keys' coach Lindsay Davenport played Jennifer Capriati in the championship match in New Haven.
In a contest dictated by short points and few extended rallies, it was Keys, playing just her 16th match since last year's WTA Tour finals in Singapore, who came out of top in the biggest moments. She saved all three break points she faced in the first set, and after a dozen consecutive holds, the opening set went to a tie break. A fortunate net cord at 5-4 in the breaker gave Keys two set points, and she converted on the first chance with a forehand winner to take the opening set, 7-4.
Things were equally as tight in the second set. Vandeweghe dropped just two points on serve in her first three service games and Keys held to love twice through her first four attempts. Vandeweghe saved two break points at 4-4 after netting a half volley at 15-30, but Keys broke through later in that ninth game when Vandeweghe hit a forehand long to earn the first break of the final.
Serving for the championship, Keys wrapped up the title in emphatic fashion to love, hitting forehand winners on the first and last point to close out the win either side of a pair of unforced errors off the racquet of Vandeweghe.
The trophy signals a return to form for world No. 21 Keys, who missed much of 2017 recovering from left wrist surgery at the end of last season.
It was the first hard-court title for Keys following titles in Wimbledon tune-up events in Eastbourne (2014) and Birmingham (2016). Vandeweghe's two previous titles also came on Europe's grass, in Den Bosch in 2014 and again in 2016.
Keys was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world last October; she is set to climb back inside the Top 20 when the rankings are updated Monday morning.. She is currently the third-ranked American woman behind Venus Williams (No. 9) and Serena Williams (No. 15).
Keys' path to the championship match featured a straight-sets win over top seed and Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza in the semifinal. In Keys' first match, she had to rally from a set down to topple young American qualifier Caroline Dolehide.
World No. 24 Vandeweghe reached the final without dropping a set, including wins over fellow Americans Nicole Gibbs and CiCi Bellis and a victory against No. 4 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinal.
Keys and Vandeweghe will next head to Toronto for the Rogers Cup as they continue preparations for the US Open, which begins Aug. 28. Keys, one of nine American women in the draw, will open against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the first round and could face second-seeded Simona Halep in the second round.
Vandeweghe opens up in Canada against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on Tuesday.