Former world number seven Madison Keys came from behind to beat No. 19 Coco Gauff 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the final.
Former world number seven Madison Keys came from behind to beat No. 19 Coco Gauff 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the final of the Adelaide International 2. Keys will face compatriot Alison Riske on Saturday in the first all-American WTA final since 2020 between Serena Williams and Jessica Pegula to win Auckland. Unseeded Keys is into her first final since 2020 Brisbane and is bidding to win her first title since 2019 Charleston. In the men’s section, Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech powered into his first ATP tour decider.
— Adelaide International (@AdelaideTennis) January 14, 2022
Former U.S. Open finalist Keys has enjoyed a resurgence week in Adelaide, getting the better of three seeds in No.2 Elina Svitolina, No.8 Liudmila Samsonova and No.3 Gauff. She will face Riske, who went through after her opponent Tamara Zidansek withdrew with an abdominal injury as a precaution just days away from the opening Grand Slam of the year.
Keys said after the match: “Coco is a phenomenal player,” Keys said. “I knew I was going to have to play some of my best tennis. She’s such a good mover that you have to win the point two and three times because she’s so good at resetting the point.
“After the first set I think I did a good job of resetting and really being in the moment. Really happy to be in the final.”
Initially Keys struggled to find her range, misfiring on 19 unforced errors in the opening set. 17-year-old Gauff played aggressively to take the first set 6-3.
“The biggest thing I was really trying to focus on was just trying to get in patterns that I wanted to play,” Keys said. “I felt like I was letting her dictate a little bit too much. Just really trying to push her back off the baseline a little bit more, move her a little bit more, which is tough because she’s very good defensively.”
However, Keys started to find the court with her heavy forehand in the second set and the 2017 U.S. Open finalist got back control of the match. The veteran hit six winners off the ground in the first set, Gauff hit zero in the second set. Keys’ return dominated Gauff’s second serve and she sealed the second set in 35 minutes.
Elsewhere, Arthur Rinderknech produced a dominant performance against compatriot Corentin Moutet to seal the final berth on Friday. The world number 58 was very good with his serve and return as he dropped just three points on his first serve and won more than half of his return points to claim 6-1, 6-3 win in one hour and 16 minutes.
The 26-year-old will face Thanasi Kokkinakis, who upset Marin Cilic, in the final on Saturday. Australian wild card Kokkinakis beat Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-7 to reach the title decider.
“It was a tough match inside our heads. I’m sure everybody knows what a home-country duel match is about,” Rinderknech said. “There was a little bit of tension but happy to get the win with a pretty short time on court.
“It’s a great achievement. I’m really happy to be in the final. It’s a new step again. I made the semi-finals in Kitzbuehel last summer. Now the final here for my first tournament of the year.”