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Tennis-Keys dominates Riske to take Adelaide title

Randy Mancini 8 Jan 15
Tennis: BNP Paribas Open- Day 5
FILE PHOTO: Oct 8, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Madison Keys (USA) hits a shot to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

January 15, 2022

(Reuters) – Madison Keys brushed aside fellow American Alison Riske 6-1 6-2 with a dominant display of serving to win the Adelaide International title on Saturday, in a timely boost for her preparations for next week’s Australian Open.

The former U.S. Open finalist made light work of her compatriot to win her first title since the 2019 Cincinnati Masters, when Riske put her return into the net to end the match in just over an hour.

The title was the sixth of the 26-year-old’s career and set her up well for her clash against another American, 11th seed Sofia Kenin, in the first round at Melbourne Park.

“I’m really happy with how today went. I think I started really well and just had the momentum,” said Keys, a former world number seven and now ranked 87th.

“The biggest thing that I’m taking away from this week is even after being in positions where I lost the first set or things might not be going my way, just having a really collected mindset of ‘I can figure this out’.”

Keys made a blistering start at Memorial Drive, hammering a forehand winner down the line past Riske to secure a break in her second service game and take a 3-1 lead.

That break was consolidated two games later and Keys clinched the first set in just 28 minutes.

Another break of the Riske serve in the opening game put Keys in control of the second set and, while the 31-year-old sought to keep her opponent at bay, there was little she could do as Keys broke again before serving for the match.

Keys reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open as a teenager in 2015 and has won both of her previous matches on hardcourts against Kenin, the 2020 champion at Melbourne Park.

“I don’t really have an answer for you on Kenin since I found out 35 seconds ago,” Keys said of Monday’s clash.

“I was trying to finish and focus on one tournament before I jumped to the next one, so… Thank you for letting me know. I’ll start thinking about it.”

Australia’s world number 145 Thanasi Kokkinakis later came from a set down in the men’s final to beat Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-7(6) 7-6(5) 6-3 and claim his first ATP title.

(Reporting by Michael Church and Nick Mulvenney, Editing by Peter Rutherford and Hugh Lawson)