The American won the biggest title of his career so far in Cincinnati 2019, and the result took his overall record in the tournament to 17-7, or 71 percent – his best by some distance in WTA 1000 events.
With this win, Keys has now reached nine career semi-finals at WTA 1000 or above level. After making the last four at the Australian Open in January, it is the first time she has made more than one semi-final spot in a season since 2018.
This was Key’s second win over Rybakina in as many meetings for Keys. Both took place this year, but while their Roland Garros third round was a top-quality barnburner, requiring a match tiebreak before Keys could advance 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3), this encounter was more one-sided.
Notably, the 27-year-old Keys’ last five semi-finals have come on hard courts. The last time she made the last four of a tournament on a different surface, she was capturing the 2019 Charleston title on green clay.
A total of 21 winners were struck by Keys during the match, only 11 for Rybakina. His return of serve was particularly powerful, and some of the Wimbledon champion’s second serves did not result in punishment. Rybakina, on the other hand, made 25 unforced errors compared to 16 for Keys.
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