Keys and Garcia Claim Titles
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Two young players on the WTA tour captured titles this week as Madison Keys claimed the Birmingham crown, whilst Garcia ruled in Mallorca.
Keys cements top 10 place with Birmingham triumph
The rise of young American Madison Keys continued this week. Now on her favourite surface, the big hitting 21 year old captured her second career title, and in the process cemented a place in the top 10.
Keys made it through the rain and into the final where she faced tricky Czech Barbora Strycova on Sunday. The American quickly raced out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. Keys’ power was too much, and she found the game to unlock the defence of the gutsy Strycova.
The Czech showed signs of life early in the second set but could not find a crucial break. Instead it would be Keys who would earn the crucial breakthrough to seal the match and the title 6-3, 6-4.
“I think I got off to a good start in the first set breaking early,” she said in her post-match press conference. “I think I held onto the that lead pretty well. Then in the second set, she definitely raised her level.”
Grass has certainly been a kind surface to Keys. She made the quarter finals at Wimbledon last year and won her maiden title in Eastbourne in 2014. Now into the top 10, she will be dangerous player to draw at SW19.
“I’m feeling pretty good. I think getting this many matches in a row was a huge opportunity that I think that can definitely help me at Wimbledon.
“I obviously really love the surface, so the more I get to play on it, the happier I am.”
As for Strycova she will be disappointed she didn’t capture the title here, but the Czech is enjoying her best season to date and will be a danger herself at Wimbledon.
Garcia grabs Mallorca title
In Mallorca they crowned their inaugural champion as Caroline Garcia defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-4 to claim her first grass court title.
The Frenchwoman won a highly contested first set before settling down to claim the second and in the process her third career title and second of 2016.
Garcia has struggled in the past with the grass, citing slippery movement as a problem for her in the past, but in the sunshine of Mallorca she found her footing.
“I’m glad to win any tournament; it doesn’t matter what surface!” a giggling Garcia told press after the match.
“When I arrived here, it was my first tournament on grass this year, so I wasn’t expecting to go this far or win the trophy. It’s a great achievement after a long and difficult week, so I’m happy to be the winner.”
The win secures a Wimbledon seeding for Garcia who is now the French number one, overtaking her doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic. The 22 year old also moves to number 16 in the road to Singapore and adds to her Strasbourg success and Roland Garros doubles triumph.
“For now, this is my best season; when you win your first title, you never know if you’ll win another. It was a dream to win my first, and now I have three, plus the French Open in doubles. The work I’m doing with my team is definitely paying off.”
It was also quite the Father’s day present for her coach and dad who watched on from the stands.