A highly intriguing final has been set following a pair of dramatic final four matches in Charleston, as German No. 2 Angelique Kerber upset her fellow countrywoman Petkovic to secure her spot on Sunday against rising star Madison Keys. This marks the fourth time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Kerber leading the head-to-head series 2-1.
In a match that many expected would favour the German No. 1 Andrea Petkovic, who was seeded third for this particular event, and has had a better year than her opponent across the net. She appeared to have the edge early on with an early break lead over Kerber but then lost 11 of the next 14 games to eventually lose in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
“I’m so close with Andrea. We’re really good friends. It’s always tough to play against someone like that,” Kerber said in her on-court interview (h/t WTA). “But I was just trying to focus on myself and my game. And I want to say congratulations to Andrea – she’s back in the top, and I wish her all the best.”
Awaiting the German in the final is Madison Keys, who defeated Lucie Hradecka to reach a new career-high ranking of No. 17 on Monday. It was definitely the less eventful of the two matches, as the American held serve strongly and had little trouble closing out the match in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
“It’s always great when you can get off to a good start, and after that I just kept going with it. I was happy with how I stayed in the crosscourt rallies – that was definitely my biggest thing, staying in the rally and then changing direction on the right ball, then moving forward and taking time away.”
The last time that Keys and Kerber clashed was in the final of the 2014 Eastbourne Open, which turned out to be an absolutely sensational match-up; easily the best of the rivalry to date. It was also the match that Keys won to secure her first ever title on the tour. However, Kerber still leads the head-to-head series 2-1 and will look to follow up on a strong showing on Saturday to secure her latest title win.
Prediction: Madison Keys in Three Sets