Madison Keys reached her fifth quarterfinal in seven majors on Monday, defeating Katerina Siniakova, 6-2, 6-4, in the fourth round of Roland Garros. The 14th seed will look to return to the semifinals for the second year running when she takes on eighth seed Ashleigh Barty, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 winner over Sofia Kenin.
“I’m definitely happy that I was able to close it out in two sets,” Keys told Cedric Pioline on-court afterwards. “Playing out in heavy conditions for three sets didn’t sound like much fun.”
In April, Keys captured her first clay-court title on green clay in Charleston. Facing Siniakova for the first time, Keys looked to keep points short, pulling the trigger on her forehand to punish anything that gave her time to unwind. Rain drizzled throughout the match and conditions were considerably cooler than in previous days.
Keys clinched the first set with a forehand pass when the Czech was caught in no man's land. After returning from a bathroom break, Siniakova broke to begin the second set, but immediately dropped serve at love in the following game. Keys continued to apply pressure from the baseline and wrapped up the victory in 76 minutes.
Siniakova saw her eight-match win streak against American players come to an end. In her previous match, she took out world No. 1 Naomi Osaka in straight sets.
Barty is through to her first French Open quarterfinal, and second consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, having reached the last eight at the Australian Open. After splitting sets with Kenin, Barty cleaned up her game, hitting just two unforced errors in the decider. The 23-year-old imposed her shot-making variety to suck the energy out of her opponent, claiming the win in 90 minutes.
"I think I lost my way a little bit tactically in the second. And Sofia served particularly well, especially early in the second set," assessed Barty. "Tactically in the third set, I was much smarter and sharper out there."
The Australian defeated Keys in February's World Group first-round tie; Keys won the pair's other meeting, two years ago in the first round of Roland Garros.
"It's going to be a tough one. She's obviously playing well to make the quarterfinals," Keys said in her post-match press conference. "I feel like clay actually suits her game really well with her kick serve and slice and all that. It's something I'm going to have to have a game plan set to be ready for her."
Kenin was looking to back up her third-round victory over 23-time major champion Serena Williams.
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