By Ros Satar

  • Madison Keys [13] def. Mihaela Buzarnescu [31] 6-1 6-4
  • Has now made the quarter-finals at all four Slams
  • Faces either Barbora Strycova or Yulia Putintseva
PARIS, FRANCE – Madison Keys is the highest seed left in the quarter vacated by defending champion Jelena Ostapenko and No, 4 seed Elina Svitolina – can she capitalise?

 

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Madison Keys was the first to emerge from the ‘quarter-of-opportunity’ which was blown apart with the loss of both defending champion Jelena Ostapenko, and hot favourite for the title Elina Svitolina, before the end of the first week.

Keys, the highest seed left in that section, has now made a clean sweep of all four Slam quarter-finals and despite injury issues already this year, is now 10-3 in the clay in 2018 – not bad seeing as she closed out last year 1-4 on this surface.

Her brand of firepower was too much for Mihaela Buzarnescu who struggled to keep pace in the first set but raised her level in the second as Keys looked as though she was wavering a little trying to serve it out. Two match points came and went for the American, before the closed it on her own serve a couple of games later.

With her win, Keys, has advanced to the second week of a Slam in nine of her last 11 attempts. Do not underestimate that survival mode, as she explained after her match:

“It’s awesome. I mean, I can’t really think of another word. This was always kind of the one where it was the most difficult for me, and it was always the toughest one to feel like I could play well here. So to be able to get to the quarterfinals really means a lot.

“I like [the clay] a little bit more now (smiling). It’s always a little bit easier to like it when you’re in the quarterfinals, though.”

Even though all eyes on Monday will be on the encounter between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, it has been decidedly tricky for the American No. 3 to even watch her compatriot when the other half of the draw has been playing.

“Honestly, I haven’t been able to see much of Maria or Serena. My tennis coverage in my room has been a lot of the French players, and I haven’t been able to find Maria or Serena or anything (smiling).

“Unfortunately I haven’t gotten to see either of them play very much, but I’m obviously a tennis fan just like everyone else, so I think I’m just as excited to see that match.”

Keys, who described herself as being happy with her progress with low-key drama matches has been nice will face the polar extreme in one way or another next round, where she will meet either Barbora Strycova or Yulia Putintseva.

“I think in a lot of ways they are very similar and in a lot of ways they are very different. I have played both of them a couple of times. I mean, it’s one of those matches where you really don’t know what to expect no matter who wins, and I’m just going to be sitting and waiting to find out who I play and then go from there (smiling).”

Keys will be scheduled to play her quarter-final on Tuesday.

 

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