Keys to play Riske in Adelaide final

Justin Chadwick and Melissa Woods |

Alison Riske has benefitted from two withdrawals to make the Adelaide final.
Alison Riske has benefitted from two withdrawals to make the Adelaide final.

World No.87 Madison Keys has secured a spot in the Adelaide International 2 final after overcoming a leg injury to beat fellow American Coco Gauff in a three-set epic.

Keys battled a left quad injury during Friday’s match, but she managed to plough on to secure the 3-6 6-2 7-5 win in a touch under two hours.

The 26-year-old will take on Alison Riske in the final after the American’s semi-final opponent Tamara Zidansek withdrew.

Slovenian world No. 31 Zidansek, who was the fourth seed, didn’t make it on to the court due to an abdominal injury.

It was the second straight match that Riske’s opponent had withdrawn, with Madison Brengle retiring at 3-3 in the first set with a calf injury.

World No.57 Riske, who upset top-seeded Ash Barty at Wimbledon in 2019 en route to the quarter-finals, is looking for her fourth WTA career title. 

But she’ll have to buck history given that Keys enjoys a 5-1 head-to-head advantage over her.

Riske won their first battle in 2011, but Keys has come up trumps every time since then.

“We both train with each other all the time,” Keys said during her on-court interview. 

“It’s going to be a really tough match. I’m really happy to start the year off on a great foot.”

Unlike Riske, Keys was made to work hard to secure a spot in the final.

Gauff took the first set in 34 minutes, but Keys turned the tables in the second.

The third set became an all-out war of attrition as both players put everything on the line.

Gauff fought hard to stave off two match points on her serve, but it was third time unlucky for the 17-year-old as Keys secured the win.

Keys’ last appearance in a WTA final came at the 2020 Brisbane International, where she lost to Karolina Pliskova in three sets.

“Coco’s a phenomenal player and I knew I was going to have to play some of my best tennis,” Keys said.

“She’s such a good mover, You have to win the point two or three times because she’s so good at resetting the point. 

“But after the first set I did a really good job of resetting, and staying in the moment, and I’m really happy to be in the final.”