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Canada's Marino loses opener, Keys bounces Williams in straight sets at National Bank Open


MONTREAL — American Madison Keys has moved on to the round of 32 at the National Bank Open after beating Venus Williams 6-2, 7-5 at IGA Stadium on Monday night.

This is the sixth time the two have squared off, with Keys winning four of the matches.

The 15th-ranked player in the world was quick to break Williams’ serve in the first set. Keys — who will also be competing in the women's doubles tournament with fellow American Jennifer Brady — used that to continue her dominance over the first set and break Williams a second time.

Although, the former top-ranked player in the world would not go quietly. After Williams claimed the opening game of the second set, the two would go back-and-forth for nearly 15 minutes at deuce before Keys avoided being broken.

As the two Americans traded serves, Williams’ resistance would finally waver with the set tied at 3-3 when a series of double faults resulted in Keys breaking her for the third time in the match.

After fighting off match point on seven different occasions, Williams would finally break Keys’ serve for the first time in the match, extending the set.

However, fatigue appeared to set in as Keys broke Williams for the fourth time. Throughout the game, Williams struggled to make up the sizable difference in second-serve points.

While Keys won 58 per cent of her second-serve points, Williams could only muster 38 per cent.

Keys now faces Italian Jasmine Paolini in the round of 32.

Later in the evening, Rebecca Marino of Vancouver was bounced by Katie Boulter of Great Britain 6-3, 6-1.

This is the second time at the NBO for Boulter, who competed in the 2018 iteration of the Rogers Cup, reaching the round of 64.

After trading a pair of service games, Boulter was the first to impose herself, breaking Marino’s serve and going on to dominate the first set. She added a second break to clinch the frame.

As the second set began, Boulter continued to assert her dominance, breaking Marino’s serve and building a commanding 3-0 lead. She would add another break before winning the final game and clinching the straight-sets victory in 65 minutes.

Boulter put forth an impressive performance at the Rothesay Open in June, winning every single set she played in en route to her first career WTA singles title. She will go on to face seventh-ranked phenom Coco Gauff in the next round.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 7, 2023.