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Keys rolls past Riske to Adelaide 250 title

Madison Keys returned to her winning ways after a hiatus of two years as she rolled past compatriot Alison Riske 6-1, 6-2 to win Adelaide International 2 title. Photo: WTA
Madison Keys returned to her winning ways after a hiatus of two years as she rolled past compatriot Alison Riske 6-1, 6-2 to win Adelaide International 2 title. Photo: WTA

Adelaide, Jan 15 (MNN) Madison Keys returned to her winning ways after a hiatus of two years as she rolled past compatriot Alison Riske 6-1, 6-2 to win Adelaide International 2 title — her sixth career WTA singles crown.

The former Top 10 dominated from the start to finish in 66 minutes to improve her record in WTA singles finals to 6-5, having now beaten a fellow American to win two of those titles.

She also improved her record against her countrywomen to 42-20.

Entering Adelaide at world number 87, her lowest ranking in nine years, Keys will return to the Top 60 by winning the title: This week, the former world number 7 defeated five players ranked ahead of her, including three seeds in number 2 Elina Svitolina, number 8 Liudmilla Samsonova and number 3 Coco Gauff.

She also extended her dominance against Riske to six wins in seven career meetings, a streak that dates back eight years.

Saturday’s victory was the most one-sided win in the pair’s head-to-head history: Keys dropped four games (6-2, 6-2) in her first victory against Riske at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in 2014, while four of their prior meetings had gone three sets.

Keys needed three sets to beat both Samsonova and Gauff in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but was under no threat of the same in the final thanks to a sparkling performance on serve.

She never faced a break point in the match and lost just 14 points in eight service games in all.

Riske also had few answers to Keys’ power off the ground: Riske tallied just one groundstroke winner in the match, while 15 of Keys’ 24 came from her forehand.

Unable to play in Australia a year ago due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Keys heads to the Australian Open—where she reached the semi-finals in 2015—riding high.

Another all-American match awaits her in the first round, as she drew 2020 champion and number 11 seed Sofia Kenin, while Riske will face Donna Vekic.

A thrilling doubles final was played on Friday, in which Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya captured their first title as a team.

The Japanese pair saved a match point in the second set and went on to defeat the all-Czech team of Tereza Martincova and Marketa Vondrousova in a match tiebreak, 1-6, 7-6(4), 10-7.

After losing a one-sided opening set, the Japanese pair led by a break twice early in the second; however, they were one point from defeat serving at deuce with the Czechs ahead, 6-1, 6-5.

From 2-0 down in the match tiebreak, Hozumi and Ninomiya never again trailed, and pulled ahead for good from 5-5.

Hozumi and Ninomiya were playing their first final as a pair since finishing as runners-up at the 2018 French Open.

Since then, they reached a combined nine other WTA doubles finals with seven different partners. Hozumi captured her third WTA doubles title in victory, while Ninomiya won her fourth.

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