Madison Keys overwhelms No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula to advance to quarterfinals

Madison Keys needed just 1:01 to defeat Jessica Pegula, (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Madison Keys needed just 1:01 to defeat Jessica Pegula. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Madison Keys broke Jessica Pegula on her first serve Monday and didn’t look back.

The 17th-seeded Keys dominated her fellow American, 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the US Open quarterfinals and send the No. 3 seed home in a thorough upset victory.

Keys won four straight points on serve to strike first in the game’s opening set. Pegula then scored on her first serve in the second set, but lost four consecutive points again to drop a break and go down, 2-0. Pegula held on her next serve to cut her deficit to 3-1. But she wouldn’t win another game in the opening set.

Pegula then held to win the opening game of the second set. But Keys broke her third serve of the set to take a 3-2 lead.

Pegula returned the break to tie the set at 3-3. But she wouldn’t win another game as Keys cruised to victory in 1:01.

The loss continues Pegula’s late-stage woes at majors. The 29-year-old has won three career titles, but has never advanced past the quarterfinals in Grand Slam play.

Keys, meanwhile, returns to the quarterfinals at the site of her career-best major performance, a trip to the US Open final in 2017. There, she lost to fellow American Sloane Stephens in straight sets.

The loss is the second for a top-3 player in the women’s bracket in two days after No. 20 Jelena Ostapenko defeated No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek Sunday night. Keys advances to face reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova (No. 9 seed) in quarterfinal action scheduled for Wednesday.

Pegula’s US Open, meanwhile, wasn’t done. She returned to the court just hours later alongside Coco Gauff in doubles play against Marta Kostyuk and Elena-Gabriela Ruse, where they won, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. Pegula’s also competing in mixed doubles, where she’s advanced to the quarterfinals alongside fellow American Austin Krajicek.

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