Wimbledon winner Rybakina in Cincinnati

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Elena Rybakina (Getty Images)

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina saved three match points before losing 6-2, 6-4 to Madison Keys on Friday in the quarter-finals of the ATP and WTA Cincinnati Masters.

The Kazakh, who lifted the All England Club trophy last month against all odds, exited the pre-US Open event in 92 minutes as she descended to the United States title holder from 2019.

The pair struggled to get through a 21-point opener in 12 minutes, with Keys then turning on his throws to win the second in seconds.

The keys also came from a breakdown in the second set to carve out the win.

Rybakina, who is 4-3 since Wimbledon, has been beaten five times and managed just 11 winners. Keys hit 21 winners and 16 unforced errors.

“Elena is an outstanding player who can turn a game around at any time,” Keys said, unranked. “I needed to stay ahead.

“I felt like I needed 12 match points, so I’m very happy to get the win. If you back up against her, she’ll spin you around.

“It’s never good if she has control, I had to take advantage of all the balls I could.”

Keys followed her ousting of world number one Iga Swiatek on Thursday and next faces the winner between two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

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