Madison Keys returns to U.S. Open semifinals to face Aryna Sabalenka
American Madison Keys is once again two match wins from her first major title, advancing to the U.S. Open semifinals.
The 17th seed Keys took out Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday night.
Keys, a 28-year-old in her sixth Grand Slam semifinal, gets soon-to-be No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus on Thursday.
Sabalenka, who began the week by clinching the No. 1 ranking for the first time, reached her fifth consecutive major semi with a 6-1, 6-4 win over 23rd seed Zheng Qinwen of China.
“Almost a completely different match tomorrow,” Keys said, referencing the different styles of Vondrousova and Sabalenka. “There’s a reason she’s No. 1 in the world. ... It’s going to be a lot of hard hitting. Not a lot of long points. Honestly, just going to try to buckle up and get as many balls back as I can.”
Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, is the only singles player in the tournament yet to drop a set. She also swept Keys in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Keys made her deepest major run at the U.S. Open in 2017, taking runner-up to countrywoman Sloane Stephens. She also made the semis of the Australian Open and the French Open.
Sabalenka is the only woman left in the draw who is ranked higher than American Coco Gauff. Gauff, the sixth seed, gets French Open runner-up Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic in Thursday’s earlier semi.
Also Wednesday, No. 3 men’s seed Daniil Medvedev dumped No. 8 Andrey Rublev, who is the godfather of Medvedev’s daughter, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in an all-Russian quarterfinal.
In Friday’s semifinals, he’ll play top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz or No. 12 Alexander Zverev of Germany.