STANFORD, CA, USA - It was a difficult first half of the season for her - a pair of surgeries on her left wrist, one after the WTA Finals last year and one after the French Open this year, contributed to a string of early losses and her ranking dropping from inside the Top 10 to outside the Top 20.
But Madison Keys did a complete 180 this past week by winning the Bank Of The West Classic in Stanford. Here’s everything Keys achieved with her title run at the Premier-level tournament:
She won her third career title - and all three are at Premier events. Keys’ first two career titles came at Eastbourne in 2014 and Birmingham in 2016, both of which were also Premier-level events.
She won her first title on US soil. Both Eastbourne and Birmingham were in England, obviously, and there’s more - this was Keys’ first title on hardcourts, the first two both coming on grass courts.
She’s the first American to win a WTA title in more than six months. Keys is the first American to win a WTA title since Serena Williams won the Australian Open in January, beating Venus in the final.
She won the first career meeting of a potentially big future rivalry. Keys and Vandeweghe are the two highest-ranked American women not named Williams, and in their first career meeting it was Keys who came out on top in an extremely tight two-setter, 7-6(4) 6-4. Check out the highlights:
She also scored the equal-biggest win of her career. Keys defeated new Wimbledon champion and World No.4 Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals, 6-3 6-2, which matches her best wins in terms of ranking - No.4 Petra Kvitova at the Australian Open in 2015 and No.4 Muguruza at Rome in 2016.
She jumped back into the Top 20. A week after dropping out of the Top 20 to No.21, her lowest ranking in 15 months, Keys rises from No.21 up to No.17 by virtue of winning the Stanford crown.
She’s reasserted herself as a major threat. She went as high as No.7 in the world in 2016 and looked like she’d challenge for the majors in 2017 - and with this win, she’s put the first seven months of the year behind her and has to be a major threat for any tournament she enters going forward.
Keys plays Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the first round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto this week, and if she gets past her she’ll play No.2 seed Simona Halep in the second round, which would be a rematch of last year’s final at the Premier-level tournament. Here are highlights from that championship match: