“Surprised With Myself”: Madison Keys Reflects on Upsetting Belinda Bencic at WTA Doha 2021

Published 03/02/2021, 4:40 PM EST
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 10: Madison Keys of the United States celebrates winning her quarter final match against Danielle Collins of the United States during day five of the 2020 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 10, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)


Swiss tennis player Belinda Bencic had an incredible week in Adelaide, where she reached the finals of the WTA event but lost to reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek. Thereafter, she flew to Doha, Qatar with the same momentum. Unfortunately, World Number 12 Bencic did not have a favorable outcome in the Middle-East against the USA’s Madison Keys.

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Belinda lost to Keys  6-4, 6-1 in the opening round match of the Qatar Total Open. It was Keys’ first match since the 2020 Roland Garros, but the US Open 2017 finalist was certainly dominant throughout her battle against sixth seed Bencic.

Also, the victory over Bencic was Keys’ first match win since the US Open 2020.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic leaves court after losing her third round match against Belgium’s Elise Mertens REUTERS/Jaimi Joy REFILE – CORRECTING ID

“I’m really happy with how I came out and played today,” Keys mentioned in her post-match press conference. “I’m a little bit surprised with myself but hoping to keep the momentum going tomorrow… If I’m serving well, things are usually going well for me. I think it’s a really important part of my game, something that I focused on a lot. Obviously tonight it showed that when I’m serving well and hitting my spots, I can get ahead in the point.”

On Tuesday, World Number 19 Madison Keys won 83 percent of her first-service points. She powered a total of 24 winners to 17 unforced errors against Bencic. This was their first meeting in Doha since they last met in 2015.

Welcome back to the party, @Madison_Keys 🥳

Takes down No.6 seed Bencic 6-4, 6-1 in her first match since September!#QatarTotalOpen2021 pic.twitter.com/I6VgYNFzF2

— wta (@WTA) March 2, 2021

Next in Doha: Madison Keys vs Maria Sakkari

Keys will take on Greece’s Maria Sakkari next. Previously, the duo locked horns at the Australian Open 2020, where Sakkari held a straight-set victory over the 10th-seed Keys.

Sakkari recently defeated Egyptian tennis player Mayar Sherif in the opening round of the Doha Open. 

Doubles tennis in Doha, Qatar

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The doubles arena of Qatar also saw an upset when the duo of Victoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina lost to Laura Siegemund and four-time doubles Grand Slam champion Elena Vesnina.

In her first match back since 2018, @EVesnina001 and @laurasiegemund get the comeback win over Azarenka/Svitolina, 4-6, 7-5, [10-8].#QatarTotalOpen2021 pic.twitter.com/ACvE0iFxwp

— wta (@WTA) March 2, 2021

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Vesnina was playing her first match since 2018. She had been away from the tour since November 2018 for maternity reasons. Her win on Tuesday was also her first victory as a mother.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1905 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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