Madison Keys falls in US Open semis chase to Sabalenka

Madison Keys squandered a golden opportunity to advance to an all-American US Open final when she lost in a late-night sudden-death tiebreak.

The world number 17 served for the match against second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the second set but ended up losing 0-6 7-6 7-6.

Sabalenka will now meet Coco Gauff, and it seemed inevitable that she would prove the toughest in the champions tie-break, which she dominated early on and won 10-5 just before 1am.

The match featured two of the biggest hitters on the tour, but it was Keys whose power was overwhelming in the opening set, blasting his way through the opening set in just 30 minutes.

Sabalenka, who has reached the semi-finals or better at all four Majors this year, was shaken by her opponent’s clean ball strike and gestured angrily towards her box.

Aryna Sabalenka stunned Madison Keys and the Arthur Ashe hometown crowd with a deliberate win

Keys stayed in the ascendancy until she served for the game at 5-4 when nerves seemed to kick in. She was comfortably broken then sprayed the ball in the tie-break to lose it 7-1.

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A runner-up in 2017, Keys led 4-2 in the third set but got broken again at the opportune moment, which made for a battle of nerves in the end

Sabalenka added to her winning streak against Keys, whom she beat 6-2, 6-4 in their Wimbledon quarter-final before Ons Jabeur ended their tournament.

The Belarusian had to wait to get his moment on Arthur Ashe as protesters delayed Gauff’s eventual 6-4 7-5 victory over Karolina Muchova by almost an hour

While Gauff is the hometown favourite, Sabalenka will have no fear as she looks to add another slam to her trophy cabinet following her triumph at the Australian Open in January.

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