Keys, Medvedev champions in Cincinnati

Published by Reuters

Madison Keys (L) and Daniil Medvedev claimed the titles in Cincinnati (Getty Images)
Madison Keys completes a dream week at her “home” tournament before Daniil Medvedev claims the men’s title — a victory that will boost him into the top five.

Daniil Medvedev will crack the world’s top five after clinching his maiden ATP Masters title in Cincinnati.

Ninth-seeded Medvedev followed up his semifinal win over Novak Djokovic by beating Goffin 7-6(3) 6-4 on Sunday in one hour 39 minutes to guarantee his place in the world’s top five for the first time when the rankings are released on Monday.

His victory came after Madison Keys twice battled back from a break down to beat Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova for her fifth career title.

The confidence-boosting 7-5 7-6(5) victory — delivering Keys the biggest title of her career — will send the American into the US Open later this month as the world’s 10th-ranked player.

“If you told me a week ago this is where I would be, I would have laughed in your face!” Keys said in accepting the tournament trophy.

In both sets, the 2017 US Open finalist trailed 5-3 before rallying to win; she won four consecutive games to claim the opener and needed a tiebreak to prevail in the second.

The triumph was the fourth in a row on hard courts for the 16th-seeded Keys over Kuznetsova. It was also her fourth victory over a Grand Slam champion during her week in Cincinnati, with the others coming over Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Venus Williams.

Keys, who was born in nearby Illinois, delivered 13 aces among 45 winners against 29 unforced errors, while Kuznetsova managed just 15 winners.

“I started cramping at 5-3, actually. It was the first time I cramped in three weeks. I made four serves he didn’t return and it was unbelievable.”

Meanwhile, it was the second title of the year for Medvedev – who had lost finals on the past two Sundays, to Nick Kyrgios in Washington DC and Rafa Nadal in Montreal – and sets him up nicely for the US Open starting on 26 August.

“To finally lift the trophy this week is an amazing feeling,” Medvedev said.

Despite fears of fatigue, Medvedev stormed into a 4-1 lead against Goffin before the 16th-seeded Belgian broke back to force a tiebreaker, only to lose it on a double fault.

Medvedev broke Goffin in the first game of the second set and served strongly until he stood one game away from the biggest title of his career.

Facing two break points at 15-40, he responded with a big second serve then three consecutive aces to seal a superb victory and underline his continued emergence.

“It’s hard to find words,” Medvedev told ESPN’s Brad Gilbert after the match. “It’s the hard work I’ve been putting in. It would not be good to lose three finals in a row, so I’m really happy about this.

“I started cramping at 5-3, actually. It was the first time I cramped in three weeks. I made four serves he didn’t return and it was unbelievable.”

The 23-year-old leads the ATP Tour with 44 match wins this year, including a tour-leading 31 on hard courts.

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