Keys Stuns Venus, Will Face Serena In Australian Open SFs; Sharapova v Makarova
by Staff | January 28th, 2015, 7:43 am

For the second time in three years American women’s tennis has a new star. Two years ago Sloane Stephens broke through at the Australian Open stunning Serena Williams. Today, another 19-year-old Madison Keys did the same to Serena’s big sister, overcoming a break deficit in the third to beat Venus 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to reach her first career Grand Slam semifinal.

“First of all, I’m very happy I’m into the semifinals, but the moment’s definitely sweeter being able to play Venus to get there,” said Keys, who idolized the former No.1 when she was growing up.

“I was trying to enjoy the moment, and I did, and I get to enjoy another moment in the next round!”

The young Keys overpowered Venus early before tending to a groin injury in the second. Venus gained control in the third leading 3-1 before Keys roared back to take five of the last six games clinching the biggest win of her young career.

“It definitely feels amazing. It’s one of those things where you want to feel this way all the time,” Keys said. “But it’s not, you know, this unbelievable excitement either ’cause you want to keep winning and you want to keep doing better. I am very happy and I am very excited, but also not getting too far ahead of myself and being too content where I am.”

At 34, Venus had been undefeated on the year following a title over Caroline Wozniacki. But even though she came up just short on her first Australian Open semifinal since 2003, she was pleased with her result this week.

“It’s definitely been a great last four weeks,” Venus said. “A lot of match wins, a lot of momentum, just a lot of great things happening that everybody wants to happen in their career – hopefully I can keep this up,” Williams said. “I think a lot of players would have been happy with this tournament.

“I’m happy with progress. I’m not happy with a loss, I’ll tell you that.”

Key, though, will have a concern about her injured groin “I think it’s one of those things where all of us have dealt with injuries before,” Keys said. “It’s one of those things where it’s probably going to hurt, I’m probably going to have tape on it, but I’m just going to do my absolute best and enjoy the moment.”

Injury aside, Keys now has the task of doing something only three other players have ever done in a Slam – beat both Venus and Serena same event (Kim Clijsters, Martina Hingis, Justin Henin).

Serena followed Venus’s loss by crushing 2013 finalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2.

“I feel I played well,” Serena said. “I felt I had to. I feel like when you’re going up against a player like that who is confident on the court – she just had a few good matches – I knew that I needed to really play well or go home.

“It’s finally good to get past the quarterfinals or the fourth round here,” said added. “I forgot what it’s like for this place, for Melbourne, to look a little empty. Gosh, it’s been so long.”

Serena admitted she’s been battling a virus the last few days in Melbourne, but she isn’t worried.

“I’ve felt better, but I’m feeling okay,” she said. “I’m just happy to still be in the tournament. I definitely have a little raspy voice. Hopefully I’ll get better.

Serena and Keys have never met, and after Madison’s win over Venus, Serena is on guard of the young talent.

“She’s playing great,” Serena said of Keys. “I told her I was really happy that she did well. She’s in the semis. It’s good to see another American, another African American, in the semifinals playing so well. Regardless, there’s going to be an American in the finals, so that is great. It’s also great for me and Venus because we know that finally there’s other Americans that are constantly playing well and playing better, showing that they want to be the world’s greatest.”

Serena is a five time Australian Open champion.

The Serena-Keys match will follow the all-Russian semifinal between Ekatarina Makarova and Maria Sharapova. Sharapova has won all five meetings with the 26-year-old.

“I never beat her, so it will be tough,” said Makarova. “Definitely she’s a great fighter. Like here on the second round, she almost lost, but she turned around. I’m looking forward. I’m want to enjoy this time and want to rest and we’ll see what happen in semis.”

Sharapova, the Brisbane champ and 2008 Australian Open winner, saved two matchpoints in her second round. Makarova hasn’t dropped a set in five matches en route to her second straight Grand Slam semifinal.

“I haven’t faced a lefty in this tournament yet,” Sharapova said of her fellow Russian. “She’s been using her lefty serve extremely well from what I’ve seen. But, yeah, I’ll be looking out for that, work on a few things tomorrow, and be ready for that match.

“We’ve practiced a little bit I think during Fed Cup, but that was a few years ago. We played already a few times. There’s no secrets in each other’s games, that’s for sure.”

Rod Laver Arena 11:00am
Jean-Julien Rojer (NED)[6]/Horia Tecau (ROU)[6] vs. Simone Bolelli (ITA)/Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Not Before: 1:30pm
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)[10] vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[2]
Serena Williams (USA)[1] vs. Madison Keys (USA)

Rod Laver Arena 7:30pm Start Time
Tomas Berdych (CZE)[7] vs. Andy Murray (GBR)[6]

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14 Comments for Keys Stuns Venus, Will Face Serena In Australian Open SFs; Sharapova v Makarova

TGIT Says:

Madison Keys is going to be a number one player. I can’t believe how powerful her game is at 19. What a serve and forehand. Phew. She is amazing. She powered her way to victory in the business end of the third set and just bullied Venus. I hope the match between Madison and Serena will be as good.

TGIT Says:

WTA quarters better than the men’s side. Kind of routine three set wins for everybody. Women’s draw much more unpredictable and fun to watch.

Humble Rafa Says:

Good to see the Good Swiss keeping the flag flying for his country , just like the Davis Cup.

What a patriot!

jane Says:

interesting that there are 2 russians on one side and 2 americans on the other side, so that no matter what, one of each will be in the final. serena has a cold but she blew ciblkova off the court none the less. and madison is apparently carrying an injury too. so will she solve that issue and get to the final? or will experience tell? it’s looking like serena will win it all. can’t see sharpie beating her. makarova, though, does have a slam win over her i think. but it still feels rather like serena will win the title.

andrea Says:

stan was looking indomitable during the kei match….novak will have his hands full again.

great win for madison and nice run for venus. still kicking butt.

although he’s not one of my fave players, i would be fine if berdych won the whole thing, although i don’t think he will. i’m leaning towards stan again after what i saw last night.

Eric Says:

don’t sleep on Andy M!

Humble Rafa Says:

The neutral country could use another humble Grandslam champion.

jane Says:

sharapova is through so easily! i really thought it might be tighter, although i know that makarova hadn’t beaten her. if it’s another sharapova/serena final, it’ll be yet another beatdown. not sure i’d bother watching. it seems like a lot of women’s slam *finals* have been kind of boring in recent years – exceptions off the top of my head are the brilliant french open final last year and the us open final between serena and azarenka a couple/few years ago. while the two week’s matches have featured some great, interesting, and well-contested matches, the finals have been kind of a drag, really. i hope, no matter who comes through this time, that this final is at least exciting and competitive.

jane Says:

^ i should add that while i know sometimes watching a player in full flight can have it’s own sort of appeal – like petra at last year’s wimbledon – i still think a tighter match, with more drama and uncertainty, makes for an exciting final.

jane Says:

keys versus serena has been a much better match so far; keys just lost the first set tiebreak, though, so serena might run away with it now. too bad. i am routing for the teenager!! she’s fun to watch.

jane Says:


Thangs Says:

Key might not be the winner today. I bet she will be the one to dethrone serena…Power tennis to stop the arrogant.

Andrea Says:

Holy crap! I haven’t seen Madison play since last year. She is the next Serena re: power. What a serve. Great match!

Gannu Says:

Look at her attitude..there can be debate about who is the GOAT in Men’s and Women’s Tennis but no debate about GFOAT – Greatest Fighter of All Time… Her attitude is everything…

Q. There’s a chance you could play Serena in the final. You obviously have had a tough head-to-head with her. What is it about her game that gives you so much trouble?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think her power and her aggressiveness, I think that’s always made me a little bit too aggressive, maybe going for a little bit more than I had to. You know, she’s great at making players hit that shot that you don’t necessarily have to go for. You know, maybe going for a little too much, going on the line. It’s been a really difficult matchup for me, but, you know, I am a competitor. If I do play her, I will go out and I will do everything I can to try to change that result aroun

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