The time looked right for the American men to make a charge at a grand slam but that has not come to fruition with only Sam Querrey making the fourth round in that draw. Meanwhile, the women have made a great impression with five women making the fourth round. That includes Sloane Stephens, who booked her place in the last 8 with a win over Julia Goerges on Sunday evening. Madison Keys will hope to join her but faces an incredibly tough task in fourth seed Elena Svitolina.
Keys was the second match of the night session in her previous round, finishing her three set win over Elena Vesnina fairly late in the night. After taking the second, the match was never really in doubt as she sailed to a 6-1 win in the decider. After injury delayed her start to the season, Keys is finally starting to look like the contender she suggested she could be in 2016. Since an early Wimbledon exit, she has gone on a 10-1 win and won a title at Stanford. That one loss was to Garbine Muguruza in Cincinnati, where she blew several match points on her own serve.
Svitolina found herself at a new career high of No.4 after winning the title in Toronto with an impressive run that saw her pick up wins over Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki. Her ability to cope against the top players has been impressive with a 10-3 record against the top 10 this year, including 8 of her last 9. To make it this far she had wins over Katerina Siniakova, Evgeniya Rodina and Shelby Rogers, the latter two coming in straights.
Keys is well aware of the threat that Svitolina poses having seen the improvements in her game this year. “It’s going to be really difficult. She’s obviously had a phenomenal year. She’s doing really well. But, you know, I get to be the underdog, which is fun. I’m looking forward to it. I think tonight I proved to myself that kind of any situation I can fight back and figure things out. So hopefully I’ll take what I did tonight and take it into the next round.” Keys, backed by the home crowd, will surely fancy her chances to make it into the next round. It would be the first time she made it past the quarter finals at her home slam, having previously done so at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Prediction – Madison Keys in three sets