The American Madison Keys, 17th in the world, qualified for the semi-finals of the US Open on Wednesday at the expense of the Czech Marketa Vondrousova (9th), surprise champion of Wimbledon, in two sets (6-1, 6- 4). She will face Aryna Sabalenka (2nd) for a place in the final.

“When you play in front of your audience, you’re not afraid of anything!”, Launched Keys who saved the nine break points she had to defend during the meeting. “I knew she would return a lot of balls. I had to come to the net on my own terms, staying aggressive, because if I stayed on my baseline, she would drop me,” said the 28-year-old American.

Finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2017, Keys had not passed the round of 16 of her national Major since her half in 2018. Wednesday against Vondrousova she quickly escaped 5-0 in the first set. But the debates were clearly balanced in the second. Each player held their face-off until 4-4, although Keys saved six break points in the set, including five at 3-4. And in the process, it was she who took Vondrousova’s service, for the third time in the game and to serve for the match at 5-4.

She concluded on her third match point and will find Sabalenka in the semi-finals on Thursday, who is already guaranteed to become world number 1 at the end of the tournament. Against Sabalenka, “it will be very different. She’s going to hit hard and I’ll have to hang in there,” Keys said. Their previous meeting was at Wimbledon in July, when Belarus won 6-2, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.