Madison Keys falls in US Open semis to No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka: Belarussian will face American Coco Gauff in final
- Madison Keys had the match on her serve — leading 5-4 in the second set
- Tournament organizers have been deprived of the dream All-American matchup
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Madison Keys wasted a golden opportunity to make it an all-American US Open final when she went down in a late night sudden death tiebreak.
The world number 17 served for the match against second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the second set but ended up losing 0-6 7-6 7-6.
Sabalenka will now meet Coco Gauff, and there was an air of inevitability that she would prove the tougher in the champions’ tiebreak, which she dominated from the start and claimed 10-5 just shy of 1am.
The match featured two of the heaviest hitters on the tour, but it was Keys whose power was overwhelming in the first set, blasting her way through the first set in only 30 minutes.
Sabalenka, who has reached the semis or better in all four Majors this year, was rattled by the clean ball strike of her opponent and angrily gestured to her box.
Aryna Sabalenka stunned Madison Keys & the hometown Arthur Ashe crowd with a willful win
Madison Keys blew a golden opportunity to secure her place in a second U.S. Open final
The Belarussian World No. 2 will now face American No. 4 seed Coco Gauff in Saturday’s final
Sabalenka added to her slam win streak over Keys, whom she defeated 6-2 6-4 at Wimbledon
Keys remained in the ascendancy until serving for the match at 5-4 when nerves appeared to kick in. She was comfortably broken and then sprayed the ball in the tiebreak to lose it 7-1.
The finalist in 2017, Keys led 4-2 in the third set but again got broken when it mattered, making it a battle of nerves at the end.
Sabalenka added to her slam win streak over Keys, whom she defeated 6-2, 6-4 in their Wimbledon quarterfinal before Ons Jabeur ended her tournament.
The Belarussian was made to wait before having her moment on Arthur Ashe as protestors caused a near-hour long delay of Gauff’s eventual 6-4 7-5 win over Karolina Muchova.
While Gauff is the hometown favorite, Sabalenka will hold no fear as she looks to add another slam to her trophy cabinet following her Australian Open triumph in January.