Madison Keys served 13 aces and won the fifth singles title of her career on Sunday when she posted a 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final of the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati.
The 16th-seeded Keys registered 43 winners while overcoming 33 unforced errors to outlast Kuznetsova in one hour, 44 minutes.
Keys defeated Venus Williams, Romania’s Simona Halep and Spain’s Garbine Muguruza during her run of six victories on the hardcourt in Mason, Ohio.
“If you told me a week ago that is where I would be, I would have laughed in your face,” Keys said during the post-match trophy ceremony.
Kuznetsova, who won the 2004 U.S. Open and the 2009 French Open, also enjoyed a stellar week. The 34-year-old Russian received a wild-card entry into the tournament and turned back the clock with her top performances of the season to reach her first final of the year.
Kuznetsova, who had 13 winners and 13 unforced errors, was ranked No. 153 in the world entering the week. Her upset victims this week included top-seeded Australian Ashleigh Barty, Czech Karolina Pliskova and Sloane Stephens.
Keys acknowledged Kuznetsova’s strong surge and said, “I hope we have many more battles and hopefully there are more finals as well.”
Kuznetsova felt she ran into an opponent who was on another level.
“Madison, you were too good today,” Kuznetsova told Keys during the post-match trophy ceremony. “Next time, hopefully we’ll have another good match. Congratulations on a good week.”
Kuznetsova led 5-3 in the opening set before Keys finished with a flourish and won the final four games.
The same pattern held in second set as Kuznetsova was again just one victory away from the winning the set. Keys won three straight games to take a 6-5 lead before Kuznetsova remained alive by winning the 12th game and forcing the tiebreak.
The tiebreak was tied at 4-4 before Keys won three of the next four points to seal the victory.
Keys had 27 aces in her final two matches, including 14 against fellow American Sofia Kenin in Saturday’s semifinals.
Daniil Medvedev finished off David Goffin in style on Sunday with three straight aces to record a 7-6 (3), 6-4 win in the title match of the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati.
The ninth-seeded Medvedev had 10 aces overall and won 90 percent of his first-serve points during a standout performance on the hardcourt in Mason, Ohio.
The win catapults Medvedev to No. 5 in the world rankings. It was the Russian’s third straight final – he lost to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafael Nadal in Montreal earlier this month.
“Three weeks in a row in the finals,” Medvedev said during a post-match television interview. “It would not be a good feeling if I lost three finals in a row. I’m just relieved and I’m so happy.”
Medvedev furiously smashed his racquet during the final game against the 16th-seeded Goffin. He said it was because he was cramping up and feared he wouldn’t be able to finish off the Belgian in straight sets.
“I started feel cramps at 5-3. First time in three weeks I started cramping – probably the nerves and rallies,” Medvedev said. “Yesterday, my coach told me it has been 24 days in a row where I played tennis.”