Former U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys comfortably defeated compatriot Alison Riske on Saturday to claim the Adelaide International title ahead of the 2022 Australian Open, starting on January 17. The 26-year-old romped to a 6-1, 6-2 victory in 66 minutes in an all-American final. She made it to the winning circle after two years, dominating the 66-minute contest from start to finish. The former world number seven claimed her sixth WTA title and sets her up for a first round clash against number 11 seed Sofia Kenin at Melbourne Park on Monday.
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Keys made a bright start to the match, hammering a forehand winner down the line past Riske to secure a break in her second service game and take a 3-1 lead. Keys showed why she has been a top-10 player with her powerful serve and attacking ground strokes, proving too hot to handle for Riske as Keys claimed the first set in 28 minutes.
Riske then lost her opening service game of the second set from which she never recovered and Keys gained control of the second set. Keys broke again late in the second set and then served it out for her first title since winning at Cincinnati in 2019.
“I’m really happy with how today went. I think I started really well and just had the momentum. There were a couple of opportunities where momentum could have switched, and I think I did a really good job of just regrouping and continuing to focus on my side of the court. Really happy to get a win,” Keys was quoted as saying by wtatennis.com.
” I think the biggest takeaway is that things can switch at any moment. As long as you can continue to have the right mindset and keep going for things and keep working hard, things will get better if they’re not going well as long as you just have the right mindset and continue to have a good attitude about it.
“I’m just really happy that I’ve been able to put a lot of good matches together. But the biggest thing that I’m taking away from this week is even after being in positions where I lost the first set or things might not be going my way, just having a really collected mindset of I can figure this out, and if I don’t I go back onto the practice court and I figure it out tomorrow. Being really conscious of that on the court.”
World number 57 Riske fought hard but Keys was too good. She will play 69th ranked Donna Vekic of Croatia in the first round of the Australian Open. Meanwhile Keys, who missed last year’s Australian Open because of COVID-19 diagnosis, will lead to the first Grand Slam of the year high on confidence
“I think the biggest thing that I’m going to do is just remind myself what I was thinking and what I was focusing on this week, continuing to do that. Obviously that’s easier said than done,” Keys said.
“Just knowing from what I was thinking about last year and the deep, dark pit of despair that I put myself into because of that, I don’t want to go back to that. I don’t want to let myself borderline hate being on the tennis court and hate competing. If I let myself think that way, that’s where it goes.