Shuai Zhang rallied from a set down to defeat a wounded Madison Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and advance to the Australian Open quarterfinals.
Keys wins routine first set to gain early edge
Keys wasted no time, breaking Zhang's serve, a forehand down the line followed by a winning venture into net and she was off the mark. A difficult game ensued, Zhang three times getting to deuce, but the American held, a forehand down the line winning her the game Keys was up 2-0. Zhang found further trouble in her next service game, falling behind 0-30, but she recovered to hold, a forehand placed slightly off-angle down the line earned her the game, Keys' lead cut to 2-1.
Keys jumped out to a 30-0 lead on her service game, but three unforced errors gave Zhang a break point, duly saved by Keys and she managed to hold after two deuces, a 3-1 lead now in her column. Zhang comfortably held to 15 and she stayed within contact, Keys now ahead 3-2. The American held to love, a forehand down the line sealing the game and a 4-2 lead.
Zhang would respond with a love hold of her own, pulling within 4-3. Another love hold by Keys gave her a 5-3 lead, a game away from the set. She would build a 0-40 lead on Zhang's next service game and with it three set points, the Chinese saving them well. Presented with a fourth opportunity, she gained the break when Zhang's forehand was sprayed wide, the set her's at 6-3.
Keys injures hip, Zhang squares match
The second set began with Keys holding to 30, a forehand down the line whistling past an out-of-position Zhang to gain the first game of the set. Zhang would respond with a hold to 15, the score now one-all. She would gain her first true lead of the match, breaking Keys' serve at 30 to take the upper hand 2-1.
Keys would call the trainer, getting some treatment on her left hip. After the medical timeout, love holds were exchanged, Zhang still out in front 3-2. She fell behind 0-40 on her serve but pulled out of the deficit to hold and her lead stretched to 4-2. She nearly salted the set away on Keys' serve, but squandered two break points, the American holding with an ace to remain in the set, trailing 4-3.
Zhang held to 30, now a game away from the set at 5-3. She earned the break and the set on a Keys double-fault, 6-3 and the match was now one set apiece.
Zhang breaks injured Keys late in final set, advances to quarterfinals
The final set began with am exchange of holds, Zhang to 15 and Keys to 30, the score now 1-all. The American would summarily break the Zhang serve, a forehand called long, but the call overturned on a Keys challenge and she moved out in front 2-1. Her lead wouldn't last long, broken after having a 30-0 lead. Zhang would hold to 15, sticking her nose back out in front 3-2. Keys would see the trainer again for more treatment on her hip, but continued on.
Tears flowing from her eyes, Keys gutted out a hold, a forehand down the line, getting her to 3-all. Zhang would hold to 15 and regain the lead at 4-3. She then broke Keys' serve after a forehand winner off of a desperate Keys drop shot. Now serving for the match at 5-3, Zhang promptly closed it out to 15 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Surprise foe next
Next up for Zhang is Johanna Konta as the Brit rallied from a set down to defeat Ekaterina Makarova in what will be one of the unlikelier Grand Slam quarterfinals we have seen in recent memory.