Madison Keys digs deep to claim Cincinnati crown

Despite being a break down in both sets, Madison Keys beat Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the Western & Southern Open final.

Madison Keys claimed her first career Premier 5 title as she won 7-5, 7-6(5) over Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Cincinnati Open.   -  Getty Images

Madison Keys ensured she will be ranked among the world's top 10 once again by rallying to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Western & Southern Open final.

The American, a finalist at the US Open two years ago, was a break down in each set but fought back to erase the deficits on the two occasions Kuznetsova looked to close out on serve.

A 7-5 7-6 (7-5) victory delivered a fifth WTA title for Keys and her second of 2019 after she beat Caroline Wozniacki at the Charleston Open in April.

 

"I think if you told me a week ago this is where I'd be, I'd have laughed in your face," Keys said at the presentation.

She was on the back foot from the start on Sunday, Kuznetsova breaking in the first game, but Keys broke back when 5-4 down as she drilled a backhand winner down the line.

That was part of a four-game sequence that sealed the first set for Keys, who forged ahead with an authoritative forehand.

However, Kuznetsova again broke Keys early on in the second set and had a chance to level the match when 5-4 up and serving.

Yet Keys again stepped up to put it back on serve when Kuznetsova fired long, which she did again on the American's second championship point in the breaker.