Madison Keys Surprises No. 4 Elina Svitolina To Reach US Open Elite Eight
(September 5, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Fifteenth seed Madison Keys won the last four games to beat No. 4 Elina Svitolina 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open on Monday night.
“It means the world to me to make the quarterfinals,” Keys said. “Yeah, it was a really rough start to my year. This is just amazing. You know, I’m really proud of myself for digging deep and figuring that out tonight.”
“It’s definitely more than just a win. So often a match like that could have gone really quick for me, and I could have lost that third set fairly easy, come off and been really disappointed. So the fact that I dug deep and I figured things out, you know, I came out with a win means a lot to me. More than that, it just proves how deep I can dig and how hard I can fight.”
Svitolina was one of the women in contention for No. 1 at the end of the tournament, but the loss eliminates her. Now only Karolina Pliskova or Garbine Muguruza can earn the top spot at the end of this week.
“I definitely felt like I kind of hit a wall at the beginning of the second set. My energy dropped. Once I got broken in the third, I just kept telling myself, Just try to figure it out, just get as many balls in as you can.
“I was lucky that I had an amazing crowd and atmosphere. They definitely helped me pull through in that third set.”
Not only will this be the first US Open quarterfinal for Keys, but she’ll be joining three other American women in the final 8 – Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and CoCo Vandeweghe. The last time four US women were in the quarterfinals was in 2002.
“I’ve played on a Fed Cup team with all of them, including Venus. I was at the Olympics with all of them. So I think we’re all cheering for each other. To see Sloane coming back from a long injury, having to have surgery. I mean, Coco is always a force to be reckoned with. I don’t think anyone is totally surprised about that. Venus has made two slam finals.
“I’m not really surprised that anyone got this far, but I think we’re all cheering for each other, excited that there’s four of us in the quarters.”
Keys has played all of her US Open matches at night, so far this fortnight.
Asked if she is nocturnal, she said:”I am, but not to this extent. Like this is a little insane. Going to bed at 4 a.m. every morning and waking up at 11, it’s not totally natural and normal.
“But now I’m afraid to, like, play in the sun because I haven’t done it in two weeks, so… I’m fine with playing at night.”
Her last match on Saturday night lasted a little past 1:30 am.
In the battle for the semifinals, Keys will match up against No. 418, qualifier Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, returning to the tour this year after recovering from an injury to her feet and a virus which is a precursor to mononucleosis.