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‘It feels really good to get a win today’ – Keys squeaks past Muguruza in Cincinnati opener

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In the second set, Muguruza double faulted her first service game away, giving Keys an early 2-1 lead, but the Spaniard again broke back straight away, this time at love, to tie the set at 2-2. Neither player held or faced a break point for the rest of the set as the combatants inexorably moved to another tiebreak.

Muguruza edged closely to a straight-set victory as she gathered a 4-1 lead in the breaker. However, Keys came up with some clutch serves on important points to pull herself back level at 5-5. There, another solid Keys serve set up a backhand winner, which gave the American a set point at 6-5. Keys converted that chance with a fiery forehand, and the match was all square.

“Honestly, it was just ‘You better go for it, because if you don’t, you’re gonna go home,'” Keys laughed, whe explaining her thoughts during the second-set tiebreak. “‘Are you gonna go for it and see what happens, or are you gonna go home later today?’”

An early exchange of breaks in the first two games of the decider did little to separate the pair, as they stayed in lockstep through 4-4. Keys, though, had a commanding service game to hold for 5-4, with multiple fierce winners and an ace, maintaining her momentum as the match neared its conclusion.

Finally, Keys saw her chance in the subsequent game when a rash of errors by Muguruza quickly put the Spaniard down 0-40, giving Keys three match points. On her second opportunity, Keys crushed a return winner past Muguruza, and the American found herself back in the winner’s circle for the first time since Wimbledon.