Madison Keys is the second American to advance into the final eight at Wimbledon thanks to a comeback victory over Russia’s Mirra Andreeva in three sets (3-6, 7-6, 6-2) on Monday.
The 28-year-old will join Jessica Pegula as the only American players remaining in the Ladies Singles competition. Pegula will face MarkétaVondroušová in the quarterfinals while Keys will take on the tournament’s No. 2 seed in Aryna Sabalenka.
Keys reached the quarterfinals in 2015 but was beaten by Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets.
This time around, the 25th seed from Rock Island, IL overcame a shaky start to her match but prevailed over the inexperienced 16-year-old Russian.
Down a set and a break, Keys looked to the sideline for support from her fiancé and ATP Tour player, Bjorn Fratangelo.
“I got a pretty good pep talk from Bjorn in the corner, reminding me it’s just a break, it’s one break, it feels bigger, but keep trying to put pressure on her and I did,” Keys told ESPN after the match. “I kind of can’t believe that I came out with the win.”
The pep talk set Keys up to win the next two sets by attacking the net more aggressively. Despite 21 unforced errors in the second set, she won 15 of her 21 net points to tie up the match. She dominated the serve in the third set — the experience and composure of the 14-year pro proving to be overpowering. The form she found two weeks ago in her WTA Eastbourne title victory carried through to her ninth straight win on grass.
“She’s a really great player and I knew obviously, being 16 and a qualifier, she was going to go out and play some of her best tennis,” Keys said (h/t ESPN). “She serves really well, she does a really good job of moving out of the corners, which definitely makes it tough. But I was the veteran on the court today.”
Her opponent, Andreeva refused to shake the umpire’s hand after the match, having been penalized with a point penalty for throwing her racket in the second set.