KEYS, ANISIMOVA INTO
FRENCH OPEN QUARTERFINALS
Ashley Marshall | June 3, 2019
Despite being just 24 years old and having already reached the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slam events, Madison Keys doesn’t feel like she's “made it” as a tennis player yet.
The talented American is keeping tight-lipped about just what success would look like to her, but she’s one step closer to what would surely be a lifelong goal of winning a major tournament after a fourth-round win over Katerina Siniakova at the French Open on Monday.
Keys, seeded No. 14 in the French capital, needed just 76 minutes to see off the Czech 23-year-old, 6-2, 6-4, and advance to the quarterfinals in Paris for the second consecutive year.
"I think feeling like you have had success and feeling like you have made it are two different thing,” Keys (pictured above) said. “I have obviously had some success, and, you know, I'm happy with a lot of the achievements that I have had in my career, but I still have a lot of goals and things that I want to accomplish.ADVERTISEMENT
“So until those get ticked off, then I don't think I feel like I would say that I have made it.”
It’s strange to think that Keys, a former world No. 7 who reached the semifinals of the Rio Olympics and the final of the 2017 US Open, still has anything to prove. But after reaching the second week of a major in five of the past seven Slams, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Keys is just now entering her prime and has the all-court game to challenge for a title at any event she enters.
Keys, an Illinois native who now lives in Orlando, Fla., and trains at the nearby USTA National Campus, will play Ashleigh Barty of Australia on Wednesday for a spot in the semifinals, after Barty defeated another American, Sonya Kenin, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, on Monday.
Keys and Barty have only met twice before, with Keys earning a straight-sets win in the first round in Paris two years ago and world No. 8 Barty winning a Fed Cup rubber in Asheville, N.C., earlier this year.
“It's going to be a tough one," Keys said. "I think she's obviously playing well to make the quarterfinals, and I didn't get to see how she played today, but I feel like clay actually suits her game really well, with her kick serve and slice and all that. I'm going to have to have a game plan set to be ready for her.”
With points to defend at Roland Garros, Keys will need to defeat Barty to ensure she holds her current position in the rankings. But with the five players immediately above her in the standings already out of the tournament, it’s not out of the question that Keys could climb back to the Top 10 with a few more wins.
That’s not uncharted territory for the right-hander, but that doesn’t mean she’s taking it for granted.
“It's always special and stressful and an experience every single time,” Keys said. “It's definitely something that I'm happy that I've gotten through to fourth rounds and quarterfinals now a couple times now. But it never, never feels routine.”
Keys joins world No. 7 and 2018 French Open finalist Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals after the American defeated No. 19 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain, 6-4, 6-3, on Sunday. Also continuing a dream run at Roland Garros is American teenager Amanda Anisimova who defeated Aliona Bolsova, 6-3, 6-0, in 69 minutes to progress to her maiden Slam quarterfinal.
At 17 years old, Anisimova is the youngest player, and one of just two teens, left in the draw. The last time there were three American women in the French Open quarterfinals was in 2004, when Venus and Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati all advanced. Prior to that, the last time there were three or more Americans in the final eight and none of them were named "Williams" was in 1986 when Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Kathy Rinaldi and Mary Joe Fernandez all progressed.
Elsewhere on Day 9, Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic defeated Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals in women’s doubles.
American girls and boys were also back in action in the junior competitions, with No. 4 seed Alexa Noel defeating Carole Monnet of France, 7-5, 6-4; No. 6 seed Hurricane Tyra Black rallying to beat Alice Tubello of France, 3-6, 7-6, 6-0; and Martin Damm outlasting Dane Sweeney of Australia, 7-6, 7-6.