Today was the finals day for all the tournaments this week and it produced three very different but worthy winners. My feature final today was the Stanford final where Madison Keys faced up against her fellow countrywoman Coco Vandeweghe.
The first final of the day saw Alexander Zverev win the fifth title of his career but the first outside of Europe with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Kevin Anderson. Zverev didn’t do much wrong for the whole match and Anderson had to work for every single game he achieved against such a strong Zverev. Zverev got out to an early start as he broke to lead 4-3 and then after Anderson got another hold before Zverev served out the set without many nerves. He then got an early break in the second set at 1-1 and that was all he needed to carry the break through to taking the Citi Open trophy for the first time. Zverev had to go to a third-set tiebreaker in his first round but after that he was absolutely seamless as he rolled past players like Nishikori and Medvedev without dropping a set. This will move Zverev up to number 4 in the Race to London and he is now in an excellent position to make his first ATP World Tour Finals. I would even consider him to be in the top 5 if not top 3 favourites for the US Open and if he keeps playing well he could definitely win his first slam in a couple of weeks.
Madison Keys captured her first title of the season in Stanford in her first final of the season against Coco Vandeweghe 7-6(7-4), 6-4. Both women play very similar game styles, where they hit the ball incredibly hard and pray it goes in, and today it was just Keys who was performing better. The match was really tight and it was really anyone’s match all throughout the hour and twenty-eight minute affair. There were no breaks of serve in the opener but Keys did have to save three break points throughout the set on the way to a tiebreaker. The start of the breaker was very tight but towards the end Vandeweghe missed a couple of shots that should have been easy and it gave Keys the mini break before she won the final point of the set on Vandeweghe’s serve. The second set appeared like it might be going to a tiebreaker as well but in the end Keys managed to take one of two break points at 4-4 and then she served out the first hard court title of her career. This is a really big win for Keys after such a hard start to the season while she struggled with a wrist injury and it will move her up to 54 in the Race to Singapore.
In the Washington final, Ekaterina Makarova came back from the verge of a straight-set defeat to overcome Julia Goerges 3-6, 7-6(7-2), 6-0. This was really on Goerges racquet for the whole match and after she wasn’t able to serve out the second set she got really down on herself and was barely able to win two points in a row. The first set was very routine for Goerges as she was getting a lot of her shots in and she was just playing very well to take the set with a single break. Makarova got a lot better for the second set and it looked liked she would force a decider easily as she went up 5-2. Makarova started to miss a lot from there and Goerges won four straight games to have the opportunity to serve out the match. She completely went off the rails for the rest of the match as she didn’t win another game and was barely able to put a fight in the breaker before getting bagelled in the decider. This is a good win for Makarova considering she hadn’t reached a quarterfinal so far this year and she hadn’t reached a WTA final since Pattaya in 2014.