Madison Keys tops Sloane Stephens to reach semis in Charleston

Factors why Madison Keys is a better player starting with Charleston

Factors why Madison Keys is a better player starting with Charleston

Madison Keys overcame some uncharacteristically poor serving and elevated her game late on to edge fellow American Sloane Stephens 7-6 (6) 4-6 6-2 and advance to the semi-finals of the Charleston Open on Friday.

The fifth-seeded Wozniacki advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 16 seed Petra Martic of Croatia.

Former champion Caroline Wozniacki also needed three sets to move into the last eight, seeing off number 12 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Keys, seeded eighth, beat 10th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 7-5, 6-2.

Wozniacki will be making her third appearance in the Volvo Car Open final.

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In the other two quarterfinal matches Friday night, top-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany dispatched No. 6 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-2, 6-4, and fifth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus downed No. 3 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russian Federation 6-0, 6-4.

Both players struggled with their serves in a match that included 13 breaks but it was Keys who was able to cut down on the errors and step up the intensity in the third set, which she won when Stephens sent a backhand long.

The quarterfinals will feature Kerber against No. 6 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, Azarenka against No. 3 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, No. 8 Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia vs. Sachia Vickery of the United States, and Muguruza vs. Mladenovic.

Azarenka is 7-1 against Kerber, including five wins in straight sets, but Saturday's meeting will be their first since 2016.

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