(Wimbledon) Shaken for a set and a half by the young Russian Mirra Andreeva, 16, the American Madison Keys found the tactical parade to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon tournament on Monday, 3-6, 7- 6 (7/4), 6-2.
Andreeva was closed-faced and almost sulky as she shook hands with Keys at the end of the match, but she will no doubt have a lot to learn by analyzing how it went.
Eight years after reaching this stage of the competition on the London turf, Keys, who also has a final at the United States Open in 2017 and semi-finals in Australia (2015, 2022), at Roland-Garros. (2018) and at the United States Open (2018), spoke about his experience.
“I knew that by staying in the game, at some point all my years on the tour would pay off,” she said after the game.
Because it was a real challenge that Andreeva offered him with her effective first ball and her science of counter to win the first set 6-3.
It was the first set lost this season on grass by Keys, who last week won the Eastbourne tournament for the second time in his career.
Combining power and precision, Andreeva broke away again in the second set to lead 4-1 with a second break point in her favor.
But Keys, with a better first serve percentage, finally getting to land her devastating forehands and coming to the net more, revived the experience.
She even took the break at 2-4 by changing hands during the exchange, concluding at the net with a short forehand crossed with her left hand when she was right-handed.
The tiebreak in the second set was very undecided, but scoring on the opposing serve to lead 5-4 with his two serves to follow, Keys tied it one set all the way.
The third round was not necessarily good news for Andreeva, who went through three qualifying rounds before entering the main draw.
The American’s quick break to lead 3-0 no doubt took a toll on the morale of the young Russian who looked blunt and almost fatalistic late in the game. She only had one opportunity to regain the break, which she let go and Keys will face Belarusian world number 2, Aryna Sabalenka, in the next round.
Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia retired through injury in the round of 16, trailing 4-1 in the first leg by Kazakh defending champion Elena Rybakina, who advanced to the quarter-finals.
Just after the loss of her service, 3-1 against her, the surprise semi-finalist of the last Roland-Garros, complained of her lower back and requested a medical time-out.
She left the court for treatment, but when she returned, although she tried to resume the match, she could not move.
In tears, she ended up joining her opponent at the net to give up.
Finalist last year, Ons Jabeur wasted no time in the round of 16 of the Wimbledon tournament against the Czech Petra Kvitova, whom the Tunisian beat 6-0, 6-3 in just over an hour , Tuesday.
The world number 6 will find in the quarter-finals on Thursday, Elena Rybakina, who had beaten her in three sets in the final last year.
“When I won the first set 6-0, I thought nothing was done,” Jabeur explained after the match.
Kvitova, winner at Wimbledon in 2014, never really made it into the match, committing 26 unprovoked fouls for just four winners.
But that shouldn’t take anything away from the excellent performance of Jabeur who made some great shots and confirmed his good form at the moment.
Against Rybakina, “I will try to get my revenge. It had been a difficult final to experience and many memories will come back to me. I hope to play like today and win, because she is a very strong and ruthless player,” Jabeur said.
World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka did not drag: the Belarusian beat Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova (22nd) 6-4, 6-0 in 1:11 to find the quarter-finals.
Semi-finalist in 2021 and banned from the tournament last year, the 25-year-old will face the American Madison Keys (18th) to try to find the last four in London.
After being one game away from elimination in the second round against Russian-born Frenchwoman Varvara Gracheva, Sabalenka surged in the next two rounds.
She is one of the favorites of the tournament with world No.1 Iga Swiatek and defending champion Elena Rybakina.