The home crowd might not have got the all-American semi-final they were anticipating on the other side of the women’s draw but the hope of a final with two home players is still a distinct possibility. Madison Keys will be the favourite to get there, taking on Carla Suarez Navarro in the last 8 with the winner playing either Naomi Osaka or Lesia Tsurenko.
Suarez Navarro had been in good form prior to the tournament, making the final of New Haven before losing to Aryna Sabalenka. It has been a scrap for her this fortnight with three tight deciding sets being won prior to Monday night. She ended the unbeaten run of Maria Sharapova in night sessions in New York, comfortably beating the former champion 6-3 6-3 on her birthday. “I tried to play aggressive, tried to be focus on my game.” she said on the key to success. “I try to be solid sometimes because she hit fast the ball. I have to run and fight. But I think I made a really complete match from the beginning until the end.”
Aside from a minor blip against Aleksandra Krunic, Keys has been in dominant form over the first four rounds. Last year’s losing finalist is clearly eager to get back there and make up for her disappointing performance against Sloane Stephens. She overwhelmed Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round, hitting 6 aces and breaking 5 times against the Slovakian. Despite being a former finalist, there has been little attention on her with Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams getting the majority of the focus. “It’s kind of nice to be under the radar. Either way, I’m pretty used to it either way. This one just seems like it’s a little bit more low key.” she said.
“Madison plays so aggressive. She serves really good. She has a really good forehand. For me is tough. When I play against people who play really fast, for me it’s tough.” Suarez Navarro said, admitting the matchup with Keys does not favour her. The American has won all three matches including two on hard although they have not played since the Olympics in 2016. The pressure will be all on Keys, who will be disappointed if she does not manage to at least defend her points from last year’s tournament.
Prediction – Madison Keys in straight sets