Thank you for joining me for this match here on VAVEL. I hope you enjoyed the play-by-play insight. This is Brooks Giardina, signing off. Bye for now!
Final Thoughts: Madison Keys' drop served once en route to her well-earned win! Her backhand penetrated the court and left the Spaniard without a chance to dictate the majority of the match. All in all, the American played a consistent match and ulimately executed better than her opposition in the end.
Game, set, and match Keys! Two sets to love, 7-6(5), 6-4 in an hour and 42 minutes. The American reaches her third career final and will face either Serena Williams or Irina-Camelia Begu in Sunday's final!
The world number four holds on to force the American to serve for the match!
Madison Keys puts herself within a game of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia final! She leads 7-6(5), 5-3!
The American grabs a crucial break as she will serve up a set and 4-3 after they change ends of the court!
Keys brings the match to level terms yet again. 3-3
Muguruza inches 3-2 ahead.
Keys denies the top-ranked Spaniard of a break as she evens proceedings to 2-2.
Muguruza maintains the on serve set with a hold to 30. She leads two games to one!
Keys holds to love to level the early stage of the set, 1-1!
The Spaniard opens up the second set with a routine hold to 15! 1-0 Muguruza
Madison Keys wraps up a taxing opening set in a tiebreak-set, 7-6(5)! She is one set away from the biggest result of her career!
First set tiebreaker: 6-5 Keys
First set tiebreaker: 5-4 Keys
First set tiebreaker: 4-2 Keys
Muguruza stays within reach as they head to a first set tiebreaker after 51 minutes on court thus far!
What a clutch hold from the American! Keys takes the 6-5 edge.
The Spanish number one clinches the tenth game to deny Keys of a 6-4 win. Instead, the set arrives to five games apiece.
Keys puts herself within a game of the opening set as she leads 5-4!
The Spaniard battles back in the eighth game to hold in clutch style. 4-all!
Keys maintains the set on serve nicely! She leads 4-3!
Muguruza holds to level the set at three games apiece!
Due to reasons beyond our control, we will be providing game-by-game updates for the remainder of this enticing clash!
The competitors make their way back onto the court!
The players exit Pietrangeli to escape the rain.
The play is paused due to a drizzle of rain.
40-40: Muguruza saves a break point!
30-40: Keys relentlessly rips a forehand return winner!
30-30: A Muguruza forehand clips the sideline.
15-30: The Spaniard hits her second ace.
0-30: Muguruza misfires a forehand into the alley.
0-15: Keys fires a backhand winner!
Muguruza steals the break right back after a brilliant return game. 3-2 Keys.
0-40: Keys dumps a mid-court forehand into the net.
0-30: An unforced error springs of the Keys racquet.
0-15: Muguruza rips a forehand return crosscourt!
Muguruza makes a wrong shot selection to hand the first break to the energetic American. 3-1 Keys.
0-40: Keys strikes a forceful inside-out forehand for a winner.
0-30: Double fault...!
0-15: A forehand sails long off the Spaniard's racquet.
The world number 24 pulls out another complicated game on serve to maintain the on serve trend. 2-1 Keys.
40-40: Keys nets a backhand.
AD-40: The unseeded American arrives at her third game point of the game.
40-40: Keys times a down the line forehand perfectly
40-AD: Muguruza rips a huge return!
40-40: The American strikes a ball astray.
40-30: Keys sails a running forehand.
40-15: Muguruza misses a forehand.
30-15: Keys rips a forehand winner crosscourt!
15-15: Keys nets a routine forehand.
15-0: The American forces a return error.
Muguruza bounces back from a disappointing opening game with a hold to love. 1-1
40-0: Huge ace!
30-0: The Spaniard fires a risky second serve that forces the Keys return error.
15-0: A Keys backhand sails long.
Madison Keys digs out an impressive opening hold after winning five consecutive points. She leads Muguruza 1-0.
AD-40: A Spaniard return finds the net.
40-40: What a clutch backhand!
30-40: Keys finds the line with a backhand down the line.
15-40: Keys finds the open court with her forehand.
0-40: Muguruza strikes a huge return!
0-30: The American double faults...
0-15: Keys nets a backhand.
The Spaniard won the toss and elected to begin the match on return. Keys to serve.
Muguruza and Keys enter Pietrangeli for their final four matchup!
Due to rain, the semifinal clash is scheduled to be played after the original match time...
The American will need to stay on offense against Muguruza if she sees herself making Sunday's final. Her groundstroke consistency and her willingness to move forward and cut off the angles from the Spaniard will play a huge role in the outcome of the semifinal clash. In conclusion, patience will be the major key for Keys as she will need to wait for her opportunity to play the ball to the corners to avoid the fierce aggression from Muguruza.
The Spaniard will need her serve to open up the court when she takes on the big-serving American. Muguruza must keep the ball outside of the middle of the court to avoid having to play defense. If the third seed can dictate and control the middle of the court, and keep Keys on the run, then the world number four's chances of making the final will increase. Last but not least, a strong day on return will be essential as Muguruza must take advantage of second serves and anticipate the heavy, forceful serves that will come her way on Saturday.
The 21-year-old played her third round encounter against Timea Babos, where she was considered the favorite to beat the Hungarian. Keys maintained her form to get past Babos in straight-set fashion, 7-6(2), 6-3. But the American was not finished with her run on the red dirt. With her third round victory, she made her best result on the red clay in her career. Keys took on Barbora Strycova, who took out Angelique Kerber and Eugenie Bouchard in the past two weeks. The big-serving Keys battled past yet another Czech, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, to earn her ticket into the prestigious semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
Keys started her campaign in the Italian capital against another former Roland Garros semifinalist in Andrea Petkovic. The American dominated in the late stages to wrap up her first win over the German, 6-4, 6-1. Keys followed up her first round win in style by comfortably eliminating Petra Kvitova, who is expected to fall outside the top ten next week. The hard-hitting American fired eight aces and no double faults in her exquisite win over the Czech lefty.
The world number four faced a 2015 Roland Garros semifinalist in the quarterfinals. Muguruza continued her perfect record over Timea Bacsinzsky after a taxing 7-5, 6-2 victory, which consisted of an hour and 14-minute opening set. The Spaniard took advantage of the Swiss' second serve, which will be crucial for the Muguruza game in her matchup with Keys. In addition, Muguruza handled her nerves beautifully with clutch shot making and serving.
Muguruza has yet to drop a set en route to reaching the final four in Rome. The Spaniard followed a disappointing end to her Mutua Madrid Open campaign with an impressive start to her time at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. The third seed dominated her opening match against Ekaterina Makarova and failed to lose more than a single game to book her spot in the third round. She then overcame a feisty rising star, Jelena Ostapenko, in comfortable fashion, 6-1, 6-4. The Spaniard's early round wins saw her dictate on serve and return, as well as strike the ball with precise aggression.
The Spaniard and the American will go head-to-head in their second career meeting when they enter Center Court on Saturday. Keys came out on top in their only previous meeting in a three-set thriller. But the 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1 win for the American came nearly four years ago on the hard courts of Cincinnati. Both players are in completely different places in their careers than they were when they last met on the court, but the match will be expected to be a close encounter as it was before. An anticipated match of power and placement will be a must-watch matchup.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of the semifinal clash between Garbiñe Muguruza and Madison Keys at the 2016 Internazionali BNL d'Italia. My name is Brooks Giardina and I am pleased to be bringing you point-by-point updates and taking you through this enticing clash here on VAVEL—one of the fastest-growing newspapers in the world. From now until the match, which is scheduled to be played at 3 AM PST or 6 AM EST, news, updates, and match notes will be posted to get you up to speed.