Keys tumbles out of French after sizzling first set
Madison Keys totally lost control after a brilliant opening set as she crashed out of the French Open with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 loss to Russian Veronika Kudermetova in Paris on Monday.
The 22nd seed, who was looking to become the third American to advance to the quarterfinals, was powerless against Kudermetova, who used a heavy forehand on Court Philippe Chatrier to put Keys on the defensive. Kudermetova advances to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
Keys, who reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2018 and the quarterfinals the following year, dominated the opening set but lost rhythm after Kudermetova took a bathroom break before the second set.
She held and then broke Keys’ serve to take a 2-0 lead in the second, which she served out on her seventh set point.
“I tried to trust myself, to believe. That was my key,” said the 29th seeded Kudermetova, who will face fellow Russian Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals.
“Sometimes I tried to play harder, sometimes with the spin, a little smarter. I did a good job today.”
Kudermetova, who hadn’t been past the third round in singles at any of her previous 12 major tournaments, broke in the opening game of the third set after being down 40-0 and, with the exception of a service break in the fourth game, controlled the rest of the match.
Keys was the runner-up at the 2017 US Open and was coming off a semifinal run at the Australian Open.
Kasatkina matched her best performance in a major by reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi.
The 20th-seeded Kasatkina saved a break point as she served for the match and clinched it on back-to-back unforced errors from Giorgi.
“I’m excited about the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, most important,” said Kasatkina, who reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and Wimbledon in 2018. “It doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the net.”
Keys’ loss keeps the U.S. from having four women advance to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the first time since 2002. Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, and 18-year-old Coco Gauff have already advanced, while Jessica Pegula, the No. 11 seed, plays Irina-Camelia Begu in a fourth-round match later Monday.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek will be chasing a 32nd consecutive win when she plays Zheng Qinwen later Monday.
Swiatek is aiming to equal the third-longest win streak on the women’s tour since 2000. Venus Williams leads that list with 35 in 2000, followed by Serena Williams with 34 in 2013 and Justine Henin with 32 in 2008.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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