Madison Keys overpowered fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-3 in just over an hour Monday to move into the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
Keys, the No. 17 seed and 2017 runner-up at Flushing Meadows, converted on 77% of her first-serve points and used powerful ground strokes to keep rallies short — a little over three strokes on average — to make quick work of her third-seeded opponent and close friend.
Keys said it was tough playing a friend but “at the end of the day we both want to win. We’re all business on the court.”
For Pegula, it marked yet another Grand Slam disappointment. She has advanced to the quarterfinals in each major tournament but has yet to reach the final four.
U.S. OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men
Keys’ quarterfinals opponent will be ninth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, who came back to beat unseeded American Peyton Stearns 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-2 to keep her dream alive of a second straight Grand Slam title after winning Wimbledon in July.
“I actually didn’t expect it after Wimby, there was a lot of pressure,” Vondrousova said in her postmatch interview. “Let’s see what happens next.”
Other fourth-round action on a sunny, warm Labor Day at Flushing Meadows includes top-ranked defending champion Carlos Alcaraz taking on 61st-ranked Italian Matteo Arnaldi, and Aryna Sabalenka, who will become the new No. 1 in the WTA rankings after the loss of top-seeded Iga Swiatek, against 13th-seeded Daria Kasatkina. Also on the schedule, third-seeded Daniil Medvedev faces No. 13 Alex de Minaur.