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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday August 15, 2019

If there was ever a meaningful win for Madison Keys at this stage of her career, todays’ 6-1 3-6 7-5 takedown of Simona Halep in Cincinnati could be it.

The American overcame an historically brutal matchup and snapped a five-match losing streak against Halep to earn her first Top 5 win of 2019 and place herself into the bucket of potential U.S. Open contenders as he years’ final slam draws near.

In a match that had plenty of roller coaster whip saws, Keys credited her poise and patience for the win.

“I think it was the first time in a long time that I just played a little bit more within myself and didn't try to do too much too soon,” she said.

The American snapped an 8-set losing streak to Halep by playing a dominant opener that saw her win 10 of 16 points against the Romanian’s serve and not face a break point.

But Halep pushed back to take the second and then recovered from the brink of being 4-0 down in the third to level up at 5-all, after saving a match point to hold in the tenth game.

But Keys did not relent down the stretch and she claimed the final two games to clinch her victory in two hours and two minutes.

“I think being able to play as well as I did at the end after being out there for two hours—I was really happy with that,” Keys said. “But I think also the ability to keep bouncing back after being up 3-0 and then having a match point and all that, staying really calm and continuing just to try to get the next point was my favorite part.”

Keys is one of three Americans to reach the last eight at Cincinnati, along with Sofia Kenin, who closed out the evening with an upset of Elina Svitolina, and her next opponent Venus Williams.

Williams battled past Donna Vekic on Thursday to reach the last eight at Cincinnati for the first time since 2012.

“She's obviously playing some really good tennis to have some really good wins here, and I played her in the past a few times,” Keys said. “I think it's gone both ways a couple of times.”

Tennis Express

Osaka and Barty Advance as Quarters are Set

No.1 and No.2-seeded Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka each needed three sets to advance on Thursday. Barty battled from a set down to edge Anett Kontaveit 4-6 7-5 7-5 and Osaka renewed her wildly entertaining rivalry with Hsieh Su-Wei and triumphed, 7-6(3) 5-7 6-2.

Osaka and Hsieh have met four times this year and today marked the third time they went the distance.

“I feel like I knew going into the match that she was going to play really well. Like, we have such long matches every time we play, so I wasn't expecting anything different this time around,” Osaka said.

The quarter-finals shape up as follows:

And here is Friday’s order of play:


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