Madison Keys defeats Barbora Krejcikova to reach the semis
Madison Keys reached her first Grand Slam semi-final in four years with an impressive win over Barbora Krejcikova at the Australian Open.
American Keys continued their strong start to the season with a 6-3 6-2 win over French Open champion Krejcikova.
Fourth seed Krejcikova struggled in the Melbourne heat and received treatment in the opening set.
Keys will next face world number one Ashleigh Barty or fellow countrywoman Jessica Pegula.
The 26-year-old is now on a 10-game unbeaten streak to start the year, having won just 11 games in the entire 2021 season.
The former US Open runner-up picked up 27 winners as she passed Krejcikova in one hour 27 minutes.
“I think I’m going to cry. It means a lot,” Keys said from the field.
“I’m really proud of myself and very grateful to my team, my friends and my family for helping me through this really difficult year.”
Both players used icy towels to cool off as temperatures hit 33C at Melbourne Park.
Krejcikova, of a different color, who still competes in women’s doubles, appealed to the coach and doctor after trailing 5-2 in the first set.
The Czech had her blood pressure and temperature taken and given tablets before Keys served the set with back-to-back aces.
Krejcikova’s slow foot movement caused her to be broken in the opener of the second set, and a double fault in her next set caused her to be broken for love.
After landing six games in a row, Keys suffered a rare poor service game, also a double fault to put his opponent on the board.
However, Keys kept her composure better in what turned into a scrappy encounter, with two crisp service winners putting her into a 5-2 lead.
The American let out a cheer as a long comeback from Krejcikova put her in her first Australian Open semi-final since 2015.
Krejcikova’s loss also means Australia’s Barty will retain the No. 1 spot after the Australian Open.