In what is set to be a largely unexpected semifinal in the 2019 WTA Cincinnati, Madison Keys will meet her compatriot Sofia Kenin on Saturday afternoon. The match will take place on August 17 and will start after 3:00 pm local time (8:00 pm BST). Get Madison Keys v Sofia Kenin live streaming options with the preview here.
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Madison Keys v Sofia Kenin Head to Head
In their one and only meeting in the Italian Open this season, Kenin was the victor. She defeated Keys in the round of 32 in three sets.
Keys Stakes Her Claim
After being away from the spotlight for what seems like an eternity, the former US Open runner-up is most definitely back on the scene. It has been a quiet season for World No. 18 who, despite winning the Charleston Open, has had to struggle with her fair share of form problems.
At a strike rate of 15-11, life has been hard for the former top 10 player who has incurred a series of early defeats since the French Open. With just one win in her last three campaigns, this beautiful run in Cincinnati was a much-needed one.
As the number 16 seed, she moved past Garbine Mugurza, Simona Halep, and most recently, Venus Williams to reach the semifinal, making her single best performance since her run at the Flushing Meadows last season. Needless to mention, Keys has been playing with a level of ferocity that we haven’t seen in her in quite some time.
Historically speaking, the 24-year-old has always been a formidable player. So far in her career, she has made it to the eight finals and has gone the distance in four of them. All of these eight tournaments have been on the Premier level and above.
Kenin, the Dark Horse in the US Open Series?
It has been a landmark year for the 20-year-old Kenin, who reached her career-best singles ranking as World No. 22 after landing two singles titles and reaching the final on one other occasion.
The Mallorca Open champion is slowly starting to emerge on the tour as a next-generation player, capable of reaching the top 10 and further. Even though there have been bouts of inconsistency in her form, she has never let it affect her performance on the whole.
If anything, whenever she has performed, she has simply outdone herself. For instance, she had a rough spell after winning the Mallorca title as she suffered early losses Eastbourne, Wimbledon, and Washington.
However, last week in the Rogers Cup, she reached the semifinal after defeating Ash Barty and Elina Svitolina, marking the biggest wins of her career. More than that, it was also her best run of the season. Now in Cincinnati, Sofia Kenin has done the same thing again.
Against all odds, she dispatched some big guns like Julia Goerges, Zarina Diyas, Svitolina, and Naomi Osaka although, against the Japanese, she got a walkthrough into the semis. With two back to back semifinal runs in big-ticket events, there is no saying how far Kenin will go.
Keys v Kenin Prediction & Tips
This is an evenly matched fixture for many reasons. While Keys has more winning experience, Kenin has the momentum in her favour and will be strengthened by her recent wins over the big guns. Moreover, the 20-year-old also has the edge in the form of a 1-0 lead in the head to head tally. But all said and done, this one will be interesting and my gut feeling tells me that Keys will win this one in three sets.
Tip: Keys to win: 19/20 (888Sport)