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Florida players on fire at the US Open this year

Florida players on fire at the US Open this year

With University of Florida's Ben Shelton and Delray Beach's Coco Gauff punching their respective tickets to this year's US Open semifinals, who's next? Yesterday, Madison Keys took down Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1, 6-4.

Keys moved to Boca Raton, Florida to train at the Evert Tennis Academy at age 10. And she currently resides in Orlando. As the searing heat and humidity continue to bake the courts in New York, Florida players are used to it.

And the results have been telling.

Above: Madison Keys runs down a short ball and approaches the net on her way to a 6-1, 6-4 win over #9 seed Marketa Vondrousova. Photo by Todd Pechter for Florida Tennis.

Keys, for one, has stepped up in the big moments. "I think that it's obviously I just kind of find another gear when it comes to Slams," said Keys. "I have just kind of peaked at the right time.

"These are the moments you want to be in... [feeling] that pressure of the big stage, but also just the reminder of this is literally what we have all dreamed of. These are the moments that you're practicing for and you're playing for and you're constantly trying to get back to."

Keys came close to winning a Grand Slam singles title previously at the US Open, but lost in the final to fellow Floridian Sloane Stephens back in 2017.

Above: It's a good idea for Taylor Townsend to duck with Ben Shelton uncorking several serves above 130mph during the course of the match. Photo by Todd Pechter for Florida Tennis.

Meanwhile, the unseeded sleeper star of the tournament so far, former Florida Gator Ben Shelton (who won the NCAA Championships last year), suffered a loss in mixed doubles with his partner Taylor Townsend.

Who beat the American duo? Two Floridans: Boca Raton-based Jessica Pegula and Tampa-based Austin Krajicek.


Written by Florida Tennis' Executive Editor and Publisher Matt Pressman with photos and commentary from Florida tennis contributor Todd Pechter. Top photo by Mike Lawrence/ USTA. Second and third photos by Todd Pechter for Florida Tennis.

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