Madison Keys falls victim to nerves and Danielle Collins at Paribas Open
Madison Keys’ run to the U.S. Open final last year and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open this year certified she’s realizing the promise she showed as a teenager. But success creates high standards, and at 23 she’s still learning how to handle that.
“I think I’ve gotten a lot better at not really caring what other people’s expectations are,” she said. “A lot of my pressure that I have is solely just the pressure that I put on myself.”
The No. 15 seed fell victim to jitters and to the clever, sure-serving play of Danielle Collins, who prevailed 6-3, 7-6(1) on Saturday. “I don’t think I managed my nerves very well,” said Keys, who has never gotten past the round of 16 here. “Coming into the tournament I always feel like I’m a little bit nervous. I put a lot of expectations on myself this time around so I think the biggest thing was being nervous, not moving very well, and it just showed itself in big moments.”
Collins, a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Virginia, was down 6-5 in the second set but broke Keys’ serve to tie the set at 6-6 and force the tiebreaker. The only point Keys earned in the tiebreaker came as the result of a short backhander by Collins.
Collins next will face 18-year-old Sofya Zhuk of Russia, who upset No. 18 seed Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.
The match involving Roger Federer, the No. 1 player in the world and the defending champion, was suspended for more than an hour before being postponed . Federer won the first set from Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, and they were tied 2-2 in the second set when the rain descended.
Also suspended was a second-round match between No. 10 seed Angelique Kerber and Ekaterina Makarova. The first set went to Makarova 6-3, and they were in the first game of the second set when rain made play unsafe. The last match, in which No. 13 Sloane Stephens was to face Victoria Azarenka, was rescheduled for the second match on Stadium 2 on Sunday.
Unseeded Taylor Fritz of Palos Verdes reached the third round for the second straight year with a 6-4, 7-6(4) upset of No. 27 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia. Fritz, who served nine aces with no double faults, will face unseeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain, who stunned No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3. “I feel like I got a lot of momentum and played really well in a lot of the big moments of the match,” said Fritz, a huge crowd favorite at Stadium 2…. No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria held off 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-3…. No. 12 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic advanced in straight sets over Maximilian Marterer of Germany… No. 30 seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay defeated 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6(4), 6-3.
No. 4 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine recovered from being down a break in the first set and beat Mona Barthel of Germany, 6-4, 6-3… Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, ranked 49th in the world, pulled off a 6-2, 6-4 upset of No. 28 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia…. Defending champion Elena Vesnina of Russia, seeded No. 24, advanced with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over American CiCi Bellis…. U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens was to face Victoria Azarenka in Saturday’s late match.
Follow Helene Elliott on Twitter @helenenothelen
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