Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Keys stops Stephens in rematch of 2017 U.S. Open final

Madison Keys outlasted her close friend Sloane
Stephens in the first round of the Italian Open.
2017 photo by Mal Taam
   In a rematch of the 2017 U.S. Open final, Madison "Where The Hell Are My" Keys of Orlando, Fla,  outlasted lucky loser Sloane "Ranger" Stephens, a Fresno, Calif., product now based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 today in the first round of the Italian Open on red clay in Rome. 
   Keys improved to 2-4 against her close friend. One month after winning the last Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2017, a nervous Keys lost to Stephens 6-3, 6-0 in 61 minutes at Flushing Meadows. 
   In the opening round of doubles today, Sharon "Stone" Fichman of Canada and "Rudy" Giuliana Olmos — who was born in Austria, grew up in Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area and plays for Mexico — beat Bethanie "Welcome" Mattek-Sands of Phoenix and Jessica "Count" Pegula of Boca Raton, Fla., 3-6, 6-2 [10-3].
   Fichman and Olmos are slated to face top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Elise "Ethyl" Mertens of Belgium on Thursday.
   In men's singles, top-ranked Novak "No" Djokovic beat Taylor "On The" Fritz, the top American man at No. 31 in the world, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in a match interrupted by rain.
   Fritz won back-to-back Northern California Challengers in Sacramento and Fairfield six years ago at 17.
   ATP Challenger Tour — No. 8 seed Mackenzie "Ronald" McDonald, a 26-year-old product of Piedmont in the Bay Area now based in Orlando, defeated qualifier Aleksandar Vukic of Australia 6-3, 4-3, retired in the first round of the €88,520 ($107,527) Heilbronn (Germany) Challenger on red clay. 
   ITF Women's Tour — In the opening round of doubles in the $100,000 Finemark Women's Pro Tennis Championship on green clay in Bonita Springs, Fla., 19-year-old wild cards Elizabeth Mandlik, the American daughter of International Tennis Hall of Famer Hana Mandlikova, and Katie "Serve And" Volynets, from Walnut Creek in the Bay Area, edged No. 4 seeds Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies of Indonesia 4-6, 6-4 [13-11].
   No. 3 seeds Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato of Japan crushed Americans Kristie "Game" Ahn, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate, and Quinn "Jackie" Gleason 6-1, 6-0 in 57 minutes.

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