By Chris Oddo/ Friday, October 11, 2013
18-year-old Madison Keys reached her first WTA semifinal with a 6-3, 6-1 win over China's Zheng Jie in
Osaka on Friday.
Photo Source: AP
18-year-old Madison Keys is finishing off 2013 on a high note. The second-youngest player in the WTA's top 100 put forth a dominant performance to knock off China's Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-1 at the HP Open in Osaka to reach her first tour-level semifinal.
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Four years after becoming the seventh-youngest player to win a match in WTA history, Keys is closing in on the top 30 and will face Australia's Sam Stosur for a spot in her first career final on Saturday.
Keys took advantage of a slow start by Jie to break serve in the first game of the match and she never looked back in the opening set. After saving the only break point she faced in the set, Keys closed the door on Jie with another service break that featured a few blistering returns of soft second-serve offerings.
Keys would race out to a 4-0 lead in the second set, and finish off Jie on her second match point three games later, ending the proceedings in one hour and seven minutes.
In her first trip to Asia, Keys has acquitted herself nicely, notching upsets over Carla Suarez Navarro in Tokyo and Dominika Cibulkova in Beijing. But a win over third-seeded and former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in Saturday's semifinal would surely take the cake.
Stosur defeated Japan's Misaki Doi, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in her quarterfinal tilt. The world No. 20 will bid for her second final of the year. Stosur won the Carlsbad this summer when she defeated Victoria Azarenka in the final, but otherwise it has been a dismal campaign for the Aussie.
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Canada's Eugenie Bouchard also reached the semifinals on Friday, as the 19-year-old defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. Bouchard is into her third semifinal of the season, having lost her previous two at Strasbourg and Quebec City.
Japan's Kurumi Nara claimed the last semifinal berth with a 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-1 victory over Polona Hercog.