After she lost to World No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the semifinals, the U.S.’ Madison Keys fell to the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in Saturday's singles Bronze Medal Match.
It was a close three-setter that saw Keys play catch-up after letting the first set slip through her fingers.
Early on in the match, Keys led by a game at several points. Though the American had won a break point early on, her opponent managed to overcome that hurdle and tie the set 3-3. Keys was about to take the set at 5-4, but Kvitova rallied to a 7-5 victory. It was the turnaround moment of the match.
Keys fought hard to take a lead in the second, 2-1. She ultimately won that set in a decisive fashion, 6-2.
Despite multiple opportunities in the third, Keys fell behind a break point as Kvitova won a number of long rallies. Kvitova ripped a wide lead against the American at 4-0, then finally closed out the match at 6-2.
Final score: 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.
Statistically-speaking, the two were pretty evenly matched heading into the Bronze Medal Match. Keys, 21, is the World No. 9 tennis player; she was seeded 7th at the Rio Olympics. The American has won two career titles (outside of the Olympics), including the 2016 Aegon Classic. Additionally, she has advanced to the fourth round at all three of this year’s Grand Slam tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
Kvitova, 26, has won two Grand Slam titles – both at Wimbledon. She defeated Russian Maria Sharapova in the tournament's 2011 final, and took down Canadian Eugenie Bouchard for the 2014 title.
However, the Czech player has endured a rough year due in part to illness. She’s currently ranked World No. 14, and was seeded 11th at the Rio Olympics.
In previous match-ups, each player had defeated the other twice. They most recently competed at the Italian Open, where Keys beat Kvitova 6-4, 7-5.
Key's loss means the U.S. will go without a medal in women's singles. At the London 2012 Games, current World No. 1 Serena Williams defeated Russian rival Maria Sharapova