Madison Keys should not have lost to Samantha Stosur.
Samantha Stosur — up 4-0 in the second set and two games away from the match — should not have lost to Madison Keys.
One player was going to lose a match she should not have lost in Miami on Thursday. When such a situation arises, one fan base is going to be happy and the other will be disappointed. Any attempt to credit the winner will be met with a “but the other player didn’t play well.” Any attempt to frame the match as a positive for the winner will be met with the understandable and legitimate counter that the loser contributed to her own demise.
Conversely, any attempt to bury the loser will be met with a perfectly valid response that the winner had to dig deep and find some backbone in moments of importance. The winner — if only for a night and not necessarily a full week — created a reversal in her singles fortunes.
And so it is… and so it shall be: You get to decide where the emphasis should rest in this match.
If you wanted to tell me that Samantha Stosur’s win over Madison Keys was a bigger commentary on Keys in a season which is slipping away from her, I wouldn’t argue with you.
If you wanted to tell me that Stosur’s victory was a bigger commentary on Samantha Jane, a former major singles champion (unlike Keys, it should be noted) who reached back for something extra, I wouldn’t argue with you.
If you wanted to tell me that Stosur normally would have lost third sets such as this one — after letting a double-break lead in the second set vanish — I would not argue with you.
If you wanted to tell me that Keys — having lost early in Indian Wells — needed to win this match any way she possibly could have, and that excuses simply aren’t acceptable at this point for Madison, I would not argue with you.
You get to decide. I will leave this as a classic split verdict.