French Open: Madison Keys eases past Donna Vekic to keep up fine clay court form

French Open: Madison Keys eases past Donna Vekic to keep up fine clay court form

15th seed Madison Keys cruised past unseeded Croatian Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-2 to move into the second round at the French Open.

thomas-cluck
Thomas Cluck

15th seeded American Madison Keys kept up her impressive clay court form with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Croatian Donna Vekic to move into the second round at the French Open

Keys cruises through opening set

Vekic began the match with a tough hold of serve, fending off several break points to go in front 1-0. Keys then held routinely as well, with the American's aggressive returning extracting a crucial double fault from Vekic in the following game to break for 2-1. The 15th seed then held again off of a Vekic backhand error, followed by a hold of serve from the Croatian for 3-2.

The world number 17 then held again in a prolonged deuce game, followed by a hold from the 19-year-old Croatian for 4-3, with Keys in the ascendancy by a break. This year's Rome finalist then held easily, punctuating the game with a nice forehand winner, to put herself a game from taking the opening set. Keys brought more aggressive returning, breaking the Vekic serve again, this time to take the set 6-2. 

Madison Keys reacts after a long point at the French Open in Paris/Getty Images
Madison Keys reacts after a long point at the French Open in Paris/Getty Images

Keys closes it out in the second 

Keys began the set with an easy hold of serve to 15, finishing the game off with an ace in typical Keys fashion. The American put pressure on the Vekic serve immediately, playing an aggressive return game, causing the Croatian to double fault the break away. The 15th seed then held easily to love, before Vekic got herself on the board for 3-1. The world number 17 then kept up her fine form on serve, using her big first delivery to set up a nice and easy volley for 4-1. 

The unseeded Croatian's struggles on serve continued, with Keys breaking again off a Vekic backhand error. With Keys serving for the match, the world number 96 upped her game to stop the rot, breaking the 15th seed courtesy of a double fault from the American. With the pressure on the young Croatian to serve to stay in the match, Keys played a brilliant return game to force the nerves of Vekic to show, with the match ending off another double fault from the 19-year-old, with Keys emerging victorious 6-3, 6-2 to move into the second round at Roland Garros.

Up next for Keys

Up next for Keys is unseeded Colombian Mariana Duque-Mariño. While Keys was relatively unchallenged against Vekic, the 75th ranked Colombian had to fight through a battle against Aussie Daria Gavrilova, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. Keys and Duque-Mariño have never met before and they will have tomorrow off before returning on Thursday for their second round match. 

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