By Brenda Parry
As some of the big names on the women’s side, most notably Garbiñe Muguruza, Naomi Osaka and Elina Svitolina, have already tumbled out of the Australian Open, Madison Keys, the likeable American with a big smile and kind heart, cruised into the quarter-finals in dominant fashion. In her fourth-round match on the Rod Laver Arena yesterday, the 26-year-old Keys, currently ranked 51 in the world, crushed No. 8 seed Paula Badosa of Spain. Badosa was considered a favourite for the title by many, but Keys ran through her 6-3, 6-1 in a little over one hour with some outrageous hitting.
In her post-match press conference Keys summed up her win: “I’m really happy with how I played today. I think I served a lot better than I did in the last match. I think I returned well. I think overall I just started off either neutral or kind of ahead in the point. I had a lot of opportunities to try to move forward.”
She will face No. 4 seed Barbora Krejčíková, also 26, in a first-ever meeting in the final eight. Although Keys is unseeded at this year’s Australian Open, she is no stranger to the big stage, having reached her first Grand Slam event final at the US Open in 2017, losing to compatriot Sloane Stephens. Keys has been as high as No. 7 in the world. Her match against Krejčíková will be her eighth career Grand Slam quarter-final and her first in Australia since 2018. Keys is also on a nine-match winning streak since the beginning of the year, having won the warm-up tournament 2022 Adelaide International 2 in emphatic fashion.
She explains her recent surge in form on a change of mindset allowing her to enjoy competing and embrace the tough moments. She is also enjoying her time off the court in Melbourne, one of her favourite places on the tour, and knows, it seems, all the best places to eat! There is certainly a good-vibes feeling around Madison Keys and it’ll be very interesting to see where that might take her …