Teenager Madison Keys overcomes injury to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal and finally end veteran Venus Williams’ Australian Open 2015, winning 6-3 4-6 6-4.
Madison Keys fought back from injury and a break down in the final set to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal, ending Venus Williams’ semi-charmed run at the Australian Open with a hard-fought 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory.
The 19-year-old was dictating play against Williams, the oldest Grand Slam quarterfinalist since Chris Evert at the 1989 US Open at the age of 34, before a recurrence of the left thigh injury suffered at Wimbledon 2014 hampered her movement and serve midway through the second set.
Williams looked set to take full advantage of her opponent’s condition but Keys rallied from 3-1 down in the final set with a display as impressive for her guts as her game. She clinched victory with her seventh break of the match in one hour, 54 minutes, setting up a semifinal showdown with either world No.1 Serena Williams or 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova.
“The moment is definitely sweeter being able to play Venus,” said Keys, who got into the sport after admiring a Williams tennis dress at the age of four. “It’s amazing – you just have to embrace the moment – I did, and I get to enjoy another moment in the next round.”
After overcoming some early nerves, Keys assumed control in the sixth game. First there was the 192km/h serve, just 2km/h off the fastest in the women’s draw so far. In the next game, the blistering forehand return winner that brought up break point, sealed with a smash. A cute angled drop volley helped her to 5-3 before another smoked forehand return secured a second break and the set after just 29 minutes.
When she opened the second set with a love hold, she had won 20 of the last 24 points. Former world No.1 Lindsay Davenport must have seen signs of her former self as her charge racked up 34 winners and confined Williams to just 10.