Tennis: Keys crushes eighth seed Garcia to reach Open quarters

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MELBOURNE (AFP) – US Open finalist Madison Keys steamrollered her way into the Australian Open quarter-finals Monday, flattening French eighth seed Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes in their fourth-round clash.

The American, who made the semis at Melbourne Park in 2015, has not dropped a set so far this year.

“I m really excited because I think I m really playing well,” said Keys of her run to the last eight.

“I m happy with the way I m handling the tight moments.”

The 22-year-old will face 2016 champion Angelique Kerber or Taiwan s Hsieh Su-wei next.

Keys said she would let her coach, the 2000 Australian Open champion Lindsay Davenport, do the scouting on her next opponent.

“I just do what she tells me,” she said, laughing.

A couple of breaks were exchanged early in a nervy start but back on serve at 3-2 Keys, who has skated almost unnoticed through the draw, struck a decisive blow.

Under pressure at 0-30, Garcia coughed up a second double fault.

Two points later a strong forehand return opened up the court for the American who made no mistake ripping her next groundstroke for a winner to go 4-2 up.

Behind her powerful serve — Keys has only been broken four times in her four matches to date — she closed out comfortably, sealing the set with her sixth ace after 36 minutes.

She broke the Frenchwoman twice again at the start of the second to charge into a 3-0 lead.

The 22-year-old dropped her serve at 4-1 to give Garcia a sniff, before reasserting her authority by immediately breaking back to love for 5-2.

The world number 20 then sealed a dominant win in which she struck 32 winners and nine aces to Garcia s nine winners and a single ace.

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