APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Madison Keys makes a statement in the Arantxa Sánchez Vicario Stadium

Coco Gauff began her campaign in Madrid this year like a force of nature. She arrived at the Mutua Madrid Open as the third seed and one of the best players of the year and only dropped five games in her first two matches of the tournament. The American has been in frightening form. However, today it was a different story. On the other side of the net was another Florida native in Madison Keys, who took to the Arantxa Sánchez Vicario court intent on making a statement in the women’s competition.

Yesterday Coco Gauff streamed a live video from the Popular Marathon in Madrid, which she came across on a stroll around the city. Today, the third seed had her own particular marathon to endure in the Caja Magica, but she was unable to produce the sprint finish required and eventually bowed out with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 defeat after a barnstorming tussle with Madison Keys.

Today’s was the fifth clash between the two players, with two wins each from their previous encounters. The Caja Magica’s number two court provided the stage for their first battle on clay, which kicked off with Gauff looking stronger as she forged her way to a 5-2 lead. It was short-lived, however, as Keys responded with some rock-solid defence to turn the set around and force a tiebreak. There, at 4-4, the Top 20 player strung three points together to claim the first set. The upset was on.

In the second, Coco recuperated from the shock of the tiebreak and managed to dominate once more, levelling the match on her fourth set point. It was going to a decider and the world No. 3 looked determined to extend her stay in Madrid. However, Keys had other ideas and quickly took a 4-2 lead before claiming 4 games on the trot to take the set and the match. Madison is now in the quarter-finals of the event for the first time in her career and leads her head-to-head with today’s opponent. If she is to make it as far as the Mutua Madrid Open semis, Keys will first have to get past the Tunisian 2022 champion Ons Jabeur.

Although Coco is no longer in the singles competition, she will still have a vested interest in the results. The American could rise to her highest ever ranking if things go her way in Madrid. It is possible she will usurp Sabalenka as the second-best player in the world. The defending champion needs to reach the final if she is to hold on to her place. Otherwise, Coco will finally prise apart Swiatek and Sabalenka, who have been together atop the rankings for the last 64 weeks.

Gauff is also still playing in the doubles competition, where she has earned a place in the quarters with her compatriot Taylor Townsend.