2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro R3 Preview 🇧🇷
(7) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (9) 🇪🇸 Carla Suarez Navarro
One of the toughest third round matches in Rio sees the seventh seeded Madison Keys come up against the ninth seeded Carla Suarez Navarro. This match-up features an extreme contrast in styles making it a particularly interesting clash, will the powerful American prevail or the consistent Spaniard?
Madison Keys made a powerful start to her Olympic campaign with a convincing 6-3 6-3 win over Danka Kovinic but was forced to work much harder for her second round win over Kristina Mladenovic. Madison needed well over three hours to confirm her spot in the third round as she claimed a gruelling 7-5 6-7 7-6 win over Kristina Mladenovic. It was a big win for the American but it was certainly an energy sapping win which may come back to haunt her.
Suarez Navarro was dealt a very dangerous first round opponent in the form of Ana Ivanovic but weathered the storm in that match claim a 2-6 6-1 6-2 win. The Spaniard confirmed her spot in the third round in Rio with a 7-6 6-3 win over Ana Konjuh. Carla will face her toughest challenge in the third round when she comes up against Madison Keys.
Madison Keys holds a 2-0 head-to-head record over Carla Suarez Navarro. The first win was a three set win on the hard courts of Tokyo in 2013, more recently Keys claimed a hard-fought 3-6 6-3 7-6 win over the Spaniard on the grass courts of Birmingham a couple of months ago.
The result in this match-up will always be very dependent on Madison’s level of play given the American is the far more powerful player and will decide most of the points. The good news for Carla is that the courts in Rio are very slow meaning she will have more chances to engage Madison in extended rallies. I think Carla has a good chance to overcome Keys on this occasion, it will be tough for Keys to back up after her physical win over Mladenovic, especially given she will have less than 24 hours to recover as this match is the first match scheduled on Centre Court. Carla came very close to beating Madison in conditions that were perfect for the American a few months ago, on this occasion the conditions and circumstances favour Carla so that suggests she can win this.