Madison Keys beats Yulia Putintseva in the French Open

Madison Keys
Madison Keys

Madison Keys is through to the French Open semi-finals after a straight-sets win over Yulia Putintseva.

Keys vowed to carry on smiling after moving closer to a maiden grand slam title.

The happy-go-lucky American is through to the French Open semi-finals for the first time after a straight-sets win over Yulia Putintseva.

She said: "I have actually been told quite often that I'll never win or do well because I'm too nice a person and I just don't have it.

"I think that's a load of crap, but, you know, it's just me.

"I don't think you have to be mean in order to win matches. I think there's a difference between being intense and wanting it and fighting and just not being nice, so that's something that I have always stayed true to.

"I'm not ever going to try to be a person that isn't nice, so that feels more authentic to me and, you know, I think I'm still doing okay. Well, trying to be as nice as possible."

Putintseva, who beat Britian's Johanna Konta in the first round, grabbed the

first break of serve but Keys hit straight back.

Keys then took the tie-break, her power and accuracy eventually too much for Putintseva during a brutal set point.

Putintseva, from Kazakhstan, repeatedly had Keys scrambling at the net with her cute drop shots.

But Keys had the nous and consistency to keep the pressure on her opponent and broke in the seventh game of the second set before going on to win 7-6 (7/5) 6-4.

Putintseva said: "I think it was pretty solid match. She played great. I played good, too, just the matter of a couple of points that didn't go my way and went in her way.

"That's how ended up in tie-break. It was just two points' difference.

"And in the second set was the same. Just one good shot from her here and one bad shot from me there, and then the set was over.

"But, in the end, it turns out pretty good for me. I won four good matches here."

Sloane Stephens will meet her fellow American, Keys in the last four.

The 25-year-old set up a repeat of last year's US Open final by beating young Russian Daria Kasatkina in straight sets.

Kasatkina knocked out second seed Caroline Wozniacki in the previous round but found Stephens too hot to handle.

Breaks were shared in the early stages until 10th seed Stephens won a marathon game on Kasatkina's serve for 5-3 before taking the opening set.

Stephens broke again early in the second set and went on to win the next five games for a 6-3 6-1 triumph.

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