Madrid R3: Madison Keys vs (Q) Patricia Maria Țig
Wednesday’s final third round match at the Mutua Madrid Open features Madison Keys and Patricia Maria Tig, an unlikely match-up at this stage of a premier mandatory event. Keys and Tig will both be aiming to reach the quarter-final final stage in Madrid for the first time.
Madison Keys hasn’t played a great amount of tournaments in 2016, but when the American has competed she has generally done quite well (yet is still a fair way from her best). Keys made a shaky start to her campaign in Madrid, coughing up a significant early lead in her first round match with Alison Riske but ultimately recovered to record a hard-fought 1-6 6-3 6-4 win. Madison was far more convincing in her second round clash, claiming a surprisingly commanding 6-3 6-3 win over Barbora Strycova. Clay has generally been considered Madison’s least preferred surface, however the American does have the ability to hit through the slowest of clay courts, something most of her competitors are not able to do.
Patricia Maria Tig’s run to the third round in Madrid has been one of the highlights of the young Romanian’s career. Tig qualified for the main draw in Madrid courtesy of victories over Nicole Gibbs and Maria Sakkari (two fairly difficult opponents) before claiming back-to-back upset victories in the main draw to reach the third round of a premier mandatory event for the first time in her career. The Romanian defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3 4-6 6-2 in the first round before defeating a lacklustre Sloane Stephens 6-2 6-3. Sloane was clearly far from her best, Tig did what she needed to do.
This will be the first ever meeting between Keys and Tig. The American is obviously the far more established player and is therefore a strong favourite heading into this match. Tig’s recent results suggest that she is unlikely to be a pushover in this match but Keys should ultimately be a class above Tig. The result of this match is almost entirely dependant on how well Keys plays (as if often the case), A reasonable performance by Keys will see her claim victory, if she has a poor day then Tig is probably solid enough to push her to three sets or perhaps even cause an upset.