Keys and Peliwo Claim Pan American Closed Titles in Sunny Tulsa
by Colette Lewis
, 21 October 2010
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Fifteen-year-old American Madison Keys and 16-year-old Canadian Filip Peliwo took different routes to the championship of the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed last week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but in the finals, they both turned in dominating performances.
Keys, seeded third, put an emphatic end to the run of surprise finalist Christina Makarova
6-2, 6-1, while the 12th-seeded Peliwo was similarly efficient in posting a 6-0, 6-3 victory over No. 3 seed Shane Vinsant
It was sunny and warm throughout the week, with only one day of gusty winds, so most of the champions' challenges were confined to the opponents across the net.
Keys rolled into the semifinals, losing only 12 games in four matches, while Peliwo spent many more hours on the court, especially in his third round match with Anthony Delcore. The unseeded Delcore, who had upset No. 5 seed Emmett Egger the day before, served for the match against Peliwo, but Peliwo won the nearly four-hour battle in a third-set tiebreaker.
Keys' first test came in the semifinals, against top seed Lauren Davis, who had flown directly to Tulsa after winning a $10,000 Pro Circuit title in Virginia, with no day off in between tournaments.
Davis, who now trains at the Evert Academy, where Keys has been for years, took the first set, but Keys rebounded for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over a noticeably and understandably tiring Davis.
Waiting for Keys in the final was the 14-year-old Makarova, who said she would have been happy with one victory in just her second Grade 1 ITF junior event. Instead the unseeded counterpuncher from San Diego took down three straight seeds, starting with No. 2 seed Ester Goldfeld, followed by No. 9 seed Gabrielle DeSimone and, in the semifinals, No. 4 seed Monica Turewicz.
Admitting prior to the final that both Davis and Keys scared her, Makarova at her best can frustrate the biggest hitters in the game, but she couldn't locate the form that had served her so well throughout the week.