Madison Keys vs Qiang Wang, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(17) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs 🇨🇳 Qiang Wang

An interesting opening round clash at Melbourne Park sees Madison Keys come up against China’s Qiang Wang. Madison Keys is one of many serious contenders to claim a maiden Grand Slam title in 2018. Keys came agonizingly close to winning that maiden Grand Slam title in 2017 when she reached the final at the U.S Open. Keys is yet to win a match since reaching the U.S Open final and will face a tough early test in Melbourne against Wang, a very solid, consistent opponent.

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Madison Keys was unable to compete at the Australian Open in 2017 due to injury. Keys will be excited to be back in Melbourne, the scene of her first major breakthrough at a Grand Slam. Keys made it through to the semi-finals at Melbourne Park in 2015. Keys does not have good form heading into this event having not won a competitive match for months. There is no doubt that Madison’s best tennis is up there with the best, however her worst tennis is bad enough to make her vulnerable at these early stages of the first Grand Slam of the year.

Qiang Wang played in just 1 event in the lead up to Melbourne. Wang suffered a surprise opening round loss in Shenzhen, beaten by Alison Riske in straight sets. The quick hard courts in Melbourne should favour the game of Wang, the Chinese woman has struggled on the big stage and would like to change that in 2018. A match with Keys in the opening round in Melbourne is the perfect opportunity for Wang to claim a big scalp at a major event.

Madison Keys vs Sloane Stephens, U.S Open Final Preview + Prediction

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 Final Preview + Prediction
🏆 (15) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs 🇺🇸 Sloane Stephens

The new generation is here! Two African American women are into the final of the U.S Open, neither of them named Williams. Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens will square off for the final Grand Slam title of 2017 at Flushing Meadows, a maiden Grand Slam title is up for grabs, it will be a life changing moment for the winner. No one could have predicted this final at the start of the tournament, Keys and Stephens both brought good form into New York but both have only just recently returned to competitive actions after frustrating injury setbacks.

After all the setbacks, both will leave everything out on the court on Saturday in what should be a highly competitive final. This match-up will features an interesting contrast in styles, the extreme power of Keys up against the incredible athleticism of Stephens. it was Sloane Stephens won the only previous match between the pair in straight sets in Miami of 2015. Who will step up and rise to the occasion?

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Madison Keys vs Elise Mertens, U.S Open R1 Preview

US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R1 Preview + Prediction
(15) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens

Madison Keys and Elise Mertens will begin the night session on Arthur Ashe stadium on Tuesday evening at the opening round stage of the U.S Open. Madison Keys enters the final Grand Slam of the year in the best physical shape that she has been in heading into a major tournament in a long time. Keys has been struggling with shoulder issues for a while but seemed to finally be close to full strength during the U.S Open series events. Madison’s first round opponent will be no pushover, Mertens is fresh off a great week in New Haven where she came through the qualifying draw to reach the semi-final stage.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Madison Keys, Cincinnati R3 Preview

Western & Southern Open, 🇺🇸🌉 Cincinnati R3 Preview + Prediction
(4) 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza vs (16) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys

The match of the day at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday sees the reining Wimbledon Champion: Garbine Muguruza, come up against a resurgent Madison Keys. Garbine Muguruza has made a decent start to the U.S Open series, the Spaniard has backed up well after claiming her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last month. Madison Keys is one of the form players on tour at the moment having won the title in Stanford a few weeks ago and beating two tough opponents to reach the third round in Cincinnati. This looms as a tough battle between two ladies playing great tennis at the moment.

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Madison Keys vs Lesia Tsurenko, Stanford QF Preview

#BOTWClassic, 🇺🇸🐻 Stanford QF Preview + Prediction
(3) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (7) 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

A fascinating quarter-final clash at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford sees the highest ranked American Madison Keys come up against the seventh seeded Lesia Tsurenko. Madison Keys has had an injury plagued season and will be hoping to gain confidence and match fitness during the early tournaments of the U.S Open series before heading to New York for the final Grand Slam of the year. Keys was rusty in her opening clash and will face her first real test on Friday when she takes on the consistent Lesia Tsurenko.

Madison Keys of the United States in action during the second round of the 2017 Bank of the West Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

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Madison Keys vs Ashleigh Barty, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 R1 Preview + Prediction
(12) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs 🇦🇺 Ashleigh Barty

An Intriguing first round clash at Roland Garros sees the 12th seeded Madison Keys come up against an in form Ashleigh Barty. Madison Keys has had an injury-interrupted start to the year and has been unable to find form in the lead up to the second Grand Slam of the year. Conversely, Ashleigh Barty is playing the best tennis of her career and continues to rise up the rankings, making for an intriguing contest in Paris.

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Madison Keys vs Angelique Kerber, Rio Olympics SF Preview

2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro SF #2 Preview 🇧🇷
(7) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber

Madison Keys and Angelique Kerber will renew hostilities on Friday when they meet at the semi-final stage in Rio. The pair have met in a number of important matches over the last couple of years, it has been the German who has usually emerged victorious as she holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Keys. Kerber is in great form this week and will again be a tough opponent for Keys.

Madison Keys has had a topsy-turvy week in Rio but has done extremely well to reach the semi-final stage in her first Olympic campaign. Madison started the week with a straight set win over Danka Kovinic before requiring three tight sets to get past Kristina Mladenovic and Carla Suarez Navarro. Madison booked her spot in the final four with a commanding 6-3 6-1 win over Daria Kasatkina, arguably her best performance of the week.

 

Angelique Kerber has been relatively untroubled on route to the semi-final stage in Rio, the German is yet to drop a set this week and is continuing her outstanding results at major tournaments in 2016. Angie’s victims this week were: Marian Duque-Marino, Eugenie Bouchard, Samantha Stosur and Johanna Konta. Kerber also saved her performance thus far for the quarter-final stage where she thumped Johanna Konta 6-1 6-2.

Kerber holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Keys, the German has won the last two meetings between the pair and all three of their previous matches on a hard court. The most recent match between the pair was earlier this year in Miami where Kerber claimed a comfortable 6-3 6-2 win.

I suspect Kerber will once again get the better of Keys. The German’s consistency and defensive abilities often frustrate Keys into going for too much, this could be a big factor on this occasion because the court in Rio are quite slow and will give the German more time. Kerber is the form player on the tour so I can’t go against her here.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Madison Keys in 3 sets

2016 Rio Olympic Games, Quarter-final match Previews

QF #1: (15) 🇺🇦 Elina Svitolina vs (11) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova

Elina Svitolina caused the biggest upset of the tournament on Tuesday evening when she eliminated the tournament favourite Serena Williams with a 6-4 6-3 victory. The Ukrainian’s win over Serena was arguably the biggest win of her career but she will have little time to celebrate as she will have less than 24 hours to prepare for a clash with Petra Kvitova.

Petra Kvitova looked down and out in her third round clash with Ekaterina Makarova, the Czech managed to fight from a set and a break down to record a memorable 4-6 6-4 6-4 victory.

 

Kvitova holds a 2-1 head to-head record over Svitolina. The Czech has won the two most recent matches between the pair: a 6-3 7-5 win in Wuhan in 2014 and a 2-6 6-3 6-2 win in Dubai last year.

I suspect Kvitova will once again get the better of Svitolina on this occasion. The match is almost totally on Petra’s racquet, now that the draw has opened up and at this stage of the event I think Petra will be motivated to perform well and therefore should overpower Svitolina here. Petra is very experienced at representing her country, Petra has arguably been the best Fed Cup performer over the last several years and this could be the time for that success to translate into Olympic success.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Elina Svitolina in 3 sets

 

QF #2: 🇵🇷 Monica Puig vs 🇩🇪 Laura Siegemund

The most unexpected quarter-final match-up sees Monica Puig come up against Laura Siegemund, the only quarter-final match-up which features two unseeded players.

Monica Puig has arguably been the form player of the tournament. The Puerto Rican has advanced to the quarter-final stage in her first Olympic campaign without dropping a set. Puig claimed comfortable straight set wins over Polona Hercog and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to begin her Rio campaign before producing her best performance of the tournament thus far in the third round where she thumped Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-1.

 

Laura Siegemund has also defied the odds to reach the quarter-final stage of her first Olympic campaign. The German did well to even reach Rio and is now making the most of her opportunity. Siegemund has benefited from a very favourable draw, claiming wins over Tsvetana Pironkova, Shuai Zhang and Kirsten Flipkens to reach the quarter-final stage.

This will be the first ever meetings between Puig and Siegemund, two feisty competitors. The slow surface in Rio suits both ladies and they seem pretty evenly matched heading into this clash. Puig’s form is more impressive given she has beaten more established players and Puig’s best is better than Siegemund’s so I think Puig has the slight edge here.

Prediction: Monica Puig to defeat Laura Siegemund in 3 sets

 

QF #3: (7) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

Madison Keys and Daria Kasatkina are two of the most promising young talents on the tour, the pair will go head-to-head at the quarter-final stage of their first Olympic campaigns on Wednesday.

Madison Keys has taken the tough route to the quarter-final stage, the American has twice been pushed to a third set after a straight set win over Kovinic in the first round. Keys overcame Mladenovic in a 3-hour battle before booking her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over Carla Suarez Navarro.

 

Daria Kasatkina made a slow start in Rio, just sneaking past Ons Jabeur in the first round. The Russian has raised her level in her last couple of matches as she claimed straight set wins over Saisai Zheng and Sara Errani.

Madison’s biggest concern heading into this match could be fatigue given she will be playing for a third day in a row and is coming off two tough three setters. Luckily Keys isn’t the type of player that needs to do a lot of running, Madison is playing with a lot of confidence and belief at the moment and should probably be a bit too good for Kasatkina on this occasion.

Prediction: Madison Keys to defeat Daria Kasatkina in 3 sets

 

QF #4: (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs (10) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

Angelique Kerber and Johanna Konta have been two of the form players in season 2016, the pair will go head-to-head for the first time since their semi-final clash at the Australian Open earlier this year when they met at the quarter-final stage in Rio.

Kerber has breezed through to the quarter-final stage without dropping a set. The German has claimed straight set wins over Mariana Duque-Marino, Eugenie Bouchard and finally confirmed her spot in the final 8 with a 6-0 7-5 win over Sam Stosur.

 

Johanna Konta started her first Olympic campaign with straight set victories over Stephanie Vogt and Caroline Garcia. Konta’s first big test came at the third round stage where she was forced to work extremely hard for a 3-6 7-5 7-5 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Kerber won the only previous match between the pair, a 7-5 6-2 win at the semi-final stage of the Australian Open earlier this year. I suspect there will be a similar result on Wednesday, Kerber is the fresher player heading into this match and the slow surface probably suits Kerber in this match-up. Konta will find it hard to hit through the German who is looking good in Rio.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Johanna Konta in 2 sets

Madison Keys vs Carla Suarez Navarro, Rio Olympics R3 Preview

2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro R3 Preview 🇧🇷
(7) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (9) 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro

One of the toughest third round matches in Rio sees the seventh seeded Madison Keys come up against the ninth seeded Carla Suarez Navarro. This match-up features an extreme contrast in styles making it a particularly interesting clash, will the powerful American prevail or the consistent Spaniard?

 

Madison Keys made a powerful start to her Olympic campaign with a convincing 6-3 6-3 win over Danka Kovinic but was forced to work much harder for her second round win over Kristina Mladenovic. Madison needed well over three hours to confirm her spot in the third round as she claimed a gruelling 7-5 6-7 7-6 win over Kristina Mladenovic. It was a big win for the American but it was certainly an energy sapping win which may come back to haunt her.

Suarez Navarro was dealt a very dangerous first round opponent in the form of Ana Ivanovic but weathered the storm in that match claim a 2-6 6-1 6-2 win. The Spaniard confirmed her spot in the third round in Rio with a 7-6 6-3 win over Ana Konjuh. Carla will face her toughest challenge in the third round when she comes up against Madison Keys.

 

Madison Keys holds a 2-0 head-to-head record over Carla Suarez Navarro. The first win was a three set win on the hard courts of Tokyo in 2013, more recently Keys claimed a hard-fought 3-6 6-3 7-6 win over the Spaniard on the grass courts of Birmingham a couple of months ago.

The result in this match-up will always be very dependent on Madison’s level of play given the American is the far more powerful player and will decide most of the points. The good news for Carla is that the courts in Rio are very slow meaning she will have more chances to engage Madison in extended rallies. I think Carla has a good chance to overcome Keys on this occasion, it will be tough for Keys to back up after her physical win over Mladenovic, especially given she will have less than 24 hours to recover as this match is the first match scheduled on Centre Court. Carla came very close to beating Madison in conditions that were perfect for the American a few months ago, on this occasion the conditions and circumstances favour Carla so that suggests she can win this.

Prediction: Carla Suarez Navarro to defeat Madison Keys in 3 sets

Madison Keys vs Simona Halep, Rogers Cup Final Preview

Rogers Cup Final: (10) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (5) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep

Sunday’s Rogers Cup final promises to be an extremely close, competitive encounter between Madison Keys and Simona Halep. This match-up features an entertaining contrast in styles: the powerful American up against the consistent Romanian, consistently usually prevails in these types of match-ups but Keys is playing well enough to suggest she has what it takes to win the biggest title of her career.

Madison Keys is into her third final of 2016 and will be aiming for her second title. The American cruised past Elena Vesnina and Madison Brengle in her opening matches before requiring three sets to get past Venus Williams and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Madison confirmed her spot in the final with a commanding 6-2 6-1 win over Kristina Kucova in what was a near flawless performance.

 

Simona Halep has progressed through a very tough draw to reach her second Rogers Cup final. Simona claimed straight set wins over Daria Gavrilova and Karolina Pliskova in her opening couple of matches before requiring three sets to get past Svetlana Kuznetsova and Angelique Kerber.

Halep holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Keys. Simona has won their two most recent clashes, a 5-7 6-0 6-1 win in Rome in 2014 and more recently a 6-7 6-4 6-3 win at Wimbledon last month.

This is a tough match to call, the result will depend on Madison’s level. Given Madison’s recent form I suspect she is playing well enough to get the job done. Fatigue could be a factor for Halep as she is also into the final in the doubles draw. A fresh, firing Keys has all the weapons to hit through Halep, If Keys serves well she will be tough to beat. This really could go either way.

Prediction: Madison Keys to defeat Simona Halep in 3 sets