Rothesay International Eastbourne 2023: Madison Keys crowned champion in Devonshire Park for the second time in her career
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Madison Keys is a two-time Rothesay International champion after ousting world No.11 Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-3 to lift her first career title on grass since 2016.
Nine years on from winning her maiden WTA title on the same court after she edged Angelique Kerber in a tight three-set battle, the American added a third grass-court title to her resume.
She now adds the 2023 Rothesay International trophy to the one she picked up in 2014, the 2016 Rothesay Classic title, as well as four other tour-level singles titles.
It’s safe to say the American has been a dominant force on the South Coast this week, proving to be a near impossible challenge for her opponents to break down. Being faced with a tough draw, Keys breezed past Terez Martincova, Wang Xiyu, Petra Martic and Coco Gauff before beating Kasatkina to wrap up the title without dropping a single set.
“Thank you to everyone who came out this week and braved the wind and rain – we really appreciate all of your support. I love coming and playing here – being able to win the title here twice now, definitely makes me have very fond memories of Eastbourne.
Speaking of her opponent and an entertaining battle they endured on centre court, Keys added, “Congratulations to Daria and her team – what an amazing week and a really stressful tie-breaker and again, I’m really sorry about all of the lets today”.
Looking to make a fast start in the hopes of clinching a second title at Devonshire Park, 2014 champion Keys came out firing on all cylinders in what was her 11th professional match against the world No.11.
Striking the ball with power and incredible depth, the American soon brought up an early break point opportunity on Kasatkina's opening service game, which she successfully converted.
With the world No.25 landing a remarkable 88% of first serves, and dropping only five points behind it – Keys quickly clocked a vital set on the scoreboard to put herself within touching distance of the crown.
Just when it looked like the result was beyond doubt, ninth seed Kasatkina found her rhythm as she clawed back from 4-1 down in the second to level the tie and be in with a chance of turning the match around.
Hitting her American opponent around the court, Kasatkina fought hard to take control in the contest – being given the chance to serve for the set before the world No.25 dug deep to break back and force a tie-break.
With both players tussling to take the upper hand in the tie-break, it was Keys who held her nerve to close in on an emphatic victory on her fifth championship point.
The doubles final saw Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs dispatch Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perry 6-2, 6-4 to earn the silverware.
After dropping the opening set the American, Australian pair looked to fight their way back into the encounter, but Krawczyk and Schuurs stayed resilient to save all five break points they were faced with in the second before finding a break of their own at 4-3 to put the result beyond doubt.
"To the fans, thank you so much for staying", Krawczyk said "It’s been really windy and cold but we really appreciate you guys coming out and supporting us.
"Thank you to the ball kids, physios for helping us staying in piece all week. I can’t wait to come back next year".
"Thank you guys for staying out here for the doubles", Schuurs added in their pair's on-court interview. "
"It’s really nice to have some people around the court. Desirae, thank you again for playing with me this week – we had a fun week a little more fun than usual so hopefully we can continue this line."