Madison Keys falls in US Open semis to No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka: Belarussian will face American Coco Gauff in final
Madison Keys falls to No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the US Open semifinal: the Belarusian will face the American Coco Gauff in the final
- Madison Keys had the game on her serve and led 5-4 in the second set
- Tournament organizers have been robbed of the dream All-American matchup
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Madison Keys passed up a golden opportunity to make it an all-American US Open final when she went down in a sudden death tiebreaker late in the night.
The world number 17 served in the second set for the match against second seed Aryna Sabalenka, but eventually lost 0-6 7-6 7-6.
Sabalenka will now face Coco Gauff, and it seemed inevitable that she would prove strongest in the champions tiebreak, which she dominated from the start, winning 10-5 just before 1am.
The game featured two of the heaviest hitters on the tour, but it was Keys whose strength was overwhelming in the first set, working his way through the first set in just 30 minutes.
Sabalenka, who has reached semifinals or better in all four Majors this year, was shocked by her opponent’s clean ball and angrily gestured to her box.
Aryna Sabalenka stunned Madison Keys and the hometown crowd of Arthur Ashe with an intentional victory
Keys held the upper hand until she served at 5-4 for the game, when nerves seemed to set in. She was comfortably broken and then blasted the ball into the tiebreak to lose the game 7–1.
Keys, a 2017 finalist, led 4-2 in the third set, but was broken again when it mattered, ultimately making it a nerve-wracking battle.
Sabalenka extended her slam-win streak over Keys, whom she defeated 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon before Ons Jabeur ended her tournament.
The Belarusian had to wait before she could beat Arthur Ashe as protesters caused an almost hour-long delay to Gauff’s eventual 6-4 7-5 victory over Karolina Muchova.
While Gauff is the hometown favorite, Sabalenka won’t be scared as she looks to add another punch to her trophy cabinet after her Australian Open win in January.