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TENNIS

Keys exacts Olympic revenge on Kvitova at China Open

The world number nine defeated the in-form Czech in their first meeting since Kvitova beat the American to Olympic bronze in Rio.

Keys exacts Olympic revenge on Kvitova at China Open
ROLEX DELA PENA EFE

Madison Keys overcame Petra Kvitova in the China Open quarter-finals Friday in their first match-up since the Czech world number 11 beat Keys a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics.

It took two hours and 40 minutes, three sets and two tie breaks for Keys to exact revenge over the double Wimbledon champion, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/5).

A double fault by Kvitova turned the first set in favour of Keys, but she pulled back in the second pushing it to a tie break, which she won.

Madison Keys vs. Petra Kvitova

Kvitova errors

There was little between the pair in the final set, but Kvitova's 32 unforced errors to Keys' 25 ultimately cost the Czech a semi-final place -- and ended her eight match winning streak.

"She made it really tough today. I'm just really happy that at the end I was able to get my serve back on track and get myself ahead in the tiebreaker," Keys told reporters after the match.

Kvitova has had a year of up and downs since she split with her coach of seven years David Kotyza after the Australian Open in January.

She ended last year runner-up in the WTA Finals in Singapore but this season she has failed to get past the round of 16 at any of the Grand Slams, and her ranking fell to 16 -- its lowest since 2011.

Keys, 21, made her top 10 debut this year after winning her second career title in Birmingham in June.

Serena successor

The big hitting youngster -- who is often cast as a successor to 22-Grand Slam champion Serena Williams -- is also chasing her first qualification for the elite WTA Finals in Singapore, which features the season's top eight players.

With her quarter final win she moves into seventh in the Race to Singapore leaderboard, but Briton Johanna Konta is hot on her heels and she needs to win the title in Beijing to clinch her spot.

Konta plays home favourite Zhang Shuai for a semi-final place later Friday.

Monfils and Kyrgios to meet in Japan

At the Japan Open French second seed Gaël Monfils will face Australian Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals, after he beat Croatian seventh-seed Ivo Karlovic Friday.

Fourth-seed Marin Cilic defeated Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-1 and is now pitted against Belgian fifth seed David Goffin.

Monfils pulled off a nail-biting 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (8/6) win against Karlovic, with both men landing nine aces in their 91-minute contest.

Monfils, a runner-up at the Japan Open's 2010 edition, is now set to play Kyrgios, who comfortably fended off a challenge from Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-2.

"I thought I played great today," Kyrgios said in an interview posted on ATP's official web site. "I served well, returned well and my engagement level was really good the whole time."

Croatian Cilic meanwhile will play Goffin in the semi-final, with the Belgian having won their two previous meetings this year.

Goffin came from behind to beat Joao Sousa (POR) 1-6, 7-5 and 6-2 in their quarterfinal match.