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US Open: Keys Retires from Third Round Match, Sofia Kenin Secures Last 16 Berth

Madison Keys retires from third round match, Sofia Kenin secures last 16 berth
(Images:  Twitter: @usopen)

Madison Keys retires from third round match, Sofia Kenin secures last 16 berth (Images: Twitter: @usopen)

A neck injury forced Madison Keys to retire from her match against Alize Cornet, while Sofia Kenin booked her spot in the US Open last 16 stages with a win over Ons Jabeur.

Seventh seed Madison Keys retired from her third-round clash with France’s Alize Cornet early in the second set with a neck injury.

The 25-year-old American was trailing 7-6(4) 3-2 when she shook her head and told the Frenchwoman and the umpire she could not continue.

The 2017 finalist at Flushing Meadows, had a medical timeout between sets and called for assistance again during the second, where the trainer massaged her neck and shoulder.

Keys struggled to raise her arms above her shoulder during the second set and grimaced every time she hit the ball.

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“I could see at the start of the second set that she was in real pain and she is not the type of girl who retires easily so she must have been in real pain," Cornet said.

However, with this win, the Frenchwoman advanced to the fourth round for the first time in New York.

She faces Tsvetana Pironkova in the fourth round after the Bulgarian toppled 18th-seed Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-1.

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In another match, second seed Sofia Kenin overcame a sluggish start to surge past Tunisian Ons Jabeur 7-6(4), 6-3 and move into the fourth round of the US Open for the first time.

Jabeur, ranked 31 in the world, broke to take a 4-2 lead in the opening set, but the American immediately responded with a break of her own before grabbing the early advantage in the contest via a tiebreak.

Kenin, came into the clash at Louis Armstrong Stadium with a 4-1 record over Jabeur, switched gears at the start of the second set.

Playing superb tennis from the baseline, she went 2-0 up before Jabeur broke back, but the 21-year-old raised her game once again and held firm to close out the win.

Kenin, who said she had been feeling some pressure after her Melbourne triumph, had lost in straight sets in her only warm-up event before the U.S. Open.

“After Australia it (pressure) obviously got to me in a way but I regrouped… and I feel like I’m just playing better," Kenin said in a courtside interview.

Up next for Kenin is Belgian Elise Mertens, who pushed her to three sets in their previous meeting in Wuhan last year.

“It was a dramatic match. It was close and I won by like three points in the third-set tiebreak so it’s going to be tough… she’s got a big serve, big game," Kenin said.

Earlier, Elise Mertens dispatched Caty McNally 7-5, 6-1 to march into the fourth round.

(With inputs from Reuters)