Wimbledon | Keys loses her way
Madison Keys has been added to the list of seeds who not only didn’t make it into the second , but didn’t live up to her billing as the world No.11.
The American, who has been coached by former Wimbledon champion Lyndsay Davenport until a few months ago, crashed out of the Championships 7-5 5-7 6-4 in what was an astonishing if not bizarre match.
I mean, honestly I think today was a massive mishandle of nerves. I felt good, was up 5-2, and then I feel like I kind of felt my mind go away, and played a couple of sloppy games. All of a sudden it's 5-All, and that's when nerves hit me. Madison Keys
The American looked well in control as she swept into a 5-2 lead only for her game to collapse as Evgeniya Rodina put together 9 consecutive games to take the set and the sweep to a comfortable 4-0 lead in the second.
Then Keys managed to get her own game under control to stop the Russian’s roll to the finish line by eliminating the errors she was making and finding the mark with her powerful forehands.
Her serve also started to perform and she regained control to win five consecutive games to lead 5-4 and then break again to level the match.
However there was another twist as Rodina battled back and took the lead in the third game after which she needed treatment to her upper left leg in a ‘medical time-out’.
Keys broke back in the sixth game following a succession of excellent returns to earn a break point which she converted with trademark forehand winner.
With the two fighting desperately to gain an advantage the match could have gone either way but it was the Russian who eventually played the key points in the last two games, brilliantly to secure a hard-fought and well deserved victory.
Keys put her loss down to nerves.
“I mean, honestly I think today was a massive mishandle of nerves. I felt good, was up 5-2, and then I feel like I kind of felt my mind go away, and played a couple of sloppy games. All of a sudden it’s 5-All, and that’s when nerves hit me.
“Then it was just kind of dealing with that. And then when you’re down a set and 4-0, it’s a lot easier to be, like, oh, I probably should play better now and do that. And then in the third set I think I, you know, when I was down I would bring my level up and then go up to serve and would get nervous and, you know, just didn’t play well enough when it mattered.”
The defeat of the U.S. Open runner-up means only three of the top 10 seeds are left in the women’s draw.
Only two of the top eight survived to the third round — the lowest at Wimbledon in the professional era.
And it has certainly opened the door for Serena Williams!