By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 01, 2018, 3:05 p.m. (ET)
Madison Keys celebrates victory during her women's singles third-round match at the 2018 US Open on Sept. 1, 2018 in Flushing, N.Y.

 

The emotions of a third-round US Open victory Saturday arrived quickly for Madison Keys.

After finishing off her 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia with a strong stroke, a smile filled Keys’ face as she waved to the stadium crowd at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.

Keys, a 2016 Olympian and the 14th seed in women’s singles, is on a path that she hopes will put her in the US Open final for the second consecutive year. She lost to 2016 Olympic teammate Sloane Stephens in last year’s championship match.

Keys lost her first set of this year’s tournament on Saturday, but then cruised through the next two sets.

“I was definitely a little bit nervous,” Keys said during an on-court interview following the match. “I don’t think I was being aggressive in the first set. I was being a little bit passive.”

Keys joins four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams and Stephens in the round of 16.

Also advancing to the round of 16 is 2012 Olympian John Isner in men’s singles. Isner, who is seeded 11th and defeated Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic on Friday, faces 25th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada on Sunday.

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Until Saturday, Keys had not lost a set in two previous matches in this year’s US Open. She defeated Bernarda Pera of the U.S. 6-4, 6-1 in her opening match, then defeated Pauline Parmentier of France 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.

Keys will play her Round 4 match on Monday, but Williams, the 17th seed, and Stephens, the defending women’s champion and third seed, are in action Sunday. Stephens faces No. 15 Elise Mertens of Belgium and Williams goes against unseeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

2014 Youth Olympian Sofia Kenin went out Friday night to eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic, 6-4, 7-6 (2), as did Venus Williams to sister Serena 6-1, 6-2.

On the men’s side, Taylor Fritz fell in four sets to Austria’s Dominic Thiem 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Three-time Olympic medalist Mike Bryan and two-time Olympic medalist Jack Sock, who won at Wimbledon together last month, are among three American men’s doubles teams in the round of 16. Bryan and Sock defeated Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan and Mackenzie McDonald of the U.S. 6-1, 7-5 on Saturday. Playing in the round of 16 on Sunday are U.S. teams Tennys Sandgren and Austin Krajicek, and Ryan and Christian Harrison. The Harrisons will face Malek Jaziri of Tunisia and Radu Albot of Moldova. Sandgren and Krajicek are up against Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Nikola Mektic of Croatia.

The U.S. team of Christian Harrison and Christina McHale remain alive in mixed doubles, with the round of 16 today.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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