WTA Cincinnati first round preview: Madison Keys vs Coco Vandeweghe

Two friends meet once again, this time in the opening round as Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe square off.

WTA Cincinnati first round preview: Madison Keys vs Coco Vandeweghe
Keys (R) and Vandeweghe pose with their trophies from the Bank of the West Classic (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Two familiar faces meet in the opening round of the Western and Southern Open on the women’s side as 16th-seeded Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe meet for the second time in a few weeks. The two met earlier this summer in the final of the Bank of the West Classic with the world number 17 prevailing in two tight sets. The winner of this match faces the winner of the match between Daria Kasatkina and a qualifier.

Keys’ Recent Results

It’s been a troubling year for Keys as she has been battling injuries all season long. Before Stanford, her previous two events were the French Open and Wimbledon. The American bowed out to Petra Martic in the second round at Roland Garros which was then followed by another second round exit at the All-England Club at the hands of Camila Giorgi.

Before her win at Stanford, the 22-year-old had all of five wins on the season. Despite this, she kept confident in her game and displayed some of the best tennis she has played in over a year. After just sneaking past Caroline Dolehide in her opener, she breezed past Lesia Tsurenko and then put on an impressive display against top-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza in the semifinals.

Both women are all smiles after the Stanford final (Exra Shaw/Getty Images)
Both women are all smiles after the Stanford final (Exra Shaw/Getty Images)

Vandeweghe’s Recent Results

It’s been an up and down summer for the 25-year-old. After being unable to find her footing in the Netherlands on grass, she played well in Birmingham until retiring at a set all vs Muguruza. Despite the retirement, Vandeweghe put on another fine Wimbledon display, making the quarterfinal, bowing out to Magdalena Rybarikova. Though she should be disappointed not to have made the final considering how open her draw was.

The American cruised through her draw in Stanford, getting through quickly in her opener as Alja Tomljanovic retired. She only dropped 11 games in the following six sets before the final before bowing out to Keys in an all-American showdown. The world number 20 lost in her opening match in Toronto, falling to Agnieszka Radwanska.

Analysis

In this matchup, you’re going to see a lot of hard-hitting baseline rallies and free points off of strong serving. Both women are dominant in these aspects of the game, giving little margin in determining a winner, just as it was shown in Stanford. 

Vandeweghe is just a bit more consistent on her serves with Keys sometimes hitting double faults due to poor ball tosses. In terms of groundstrokes, once again, it is very close with Vandeweghe edging on the backhand wing and Keys on the forehand wing. Both women have improved their fitness and movement greatly since their initial breakthroughs so it becomes a matter of who plays better on the key points. Despite the victory in Stanford for Keys, this is a match that could go either way.

Prediction: Keys in three sets