New York : After racing to a one-set lead, and keeping her options in two tiebreak sets, American ace Madison Keys was obviously devastated after losing to Russian Aryna Sabalenka in the US Open semifinal.
No. 2 seed Sabalenka had to overcome No. 17 seed Keys 0-6, 7-6(1), 7-6[10-5] in their late-night semifinal match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in order to go to her maiden final in New York. Sabalenka had to rally from the verge of defeat.
Keys gave brief replies during the post-game press conference and declined to place any blame on what appeared to be a leg injury.
“Everyone at the start of the tournament would obviously be really, really excited to be in the semis,” she was quoted as saying by US Open.
“Right now it sucks. But yeah, I just think being able to, you know, take this and turn it to a positive is really possible. Yeah, there is still a lot to be proud of and still tons of tennis to play this season," she added.
None of that feels like much comfort now. But having experienced tough losses like the 2017 final before, Keys realizes she can rebound eventually.
“Playing in a stadium full of people that are behind me is always amazing. I definitely tried to leave it all out there tonight and do my best, and that's all you can do," Keys said in a tearful press conference following the match.
In the unpredictable encounter, Sabalenka was one game away from losing, down 6-0, 5-3, before she turned the match around to take a 3-1 lead in her head-to-head with Keys.
Sabalenka also had to battle back from a breakdown in the third set before eventually succeeding in a match-tiebreak, completing the victory after two hours and 32 minutes.