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Australian Open tennis: Nadal, Barty, American Keys clinch semifinal spots

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Australian Open tennis: Nadal, Barty, American Keys clinch semifinal spots
Madison Keys of the United States (pictured) beat Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic in straight sets at the 2022 Australian Open on Tuesday in Melbourne. Photo by Dean Lewins/EPA-EFE

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- American Madison Keys upset Barbora Krejcikova to clinch one of four women's semifinal spots Tuesday at the 2022 Australian Open. Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal also advanced in the respective women's and men's circuits.

"I'm just so happy to be back in the semifinals for the first time in a long time," Keys told reporters in Melbourne.

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Keys beat her fourth-seeded Czech foe 6-3, 6-2 in a quarterfinal match that lasted 85 minutes at Rod Laver Arena. She totaled 11 aces, won 4 of 12 break points and fired 27 winners.

Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open singles champion, totaled two aces, won 1 of 8 break points and logged a dozen winners.

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Keys now will face Barty in her first Australian Open semifinal appearance since 2015. The American is looking to win her first Grand Slam singles title.

Barty, top-seeded Australian, beat No. 21 Jessica Pegula of the United States 6-2, 6-0 in her quarterfinal match.

"I'm incredibly excited," Barty told reporters. "It's always nice to be at the business end of a Grand Slam and give yourself the opportunity to play for some of the biggest titles. I'm looking forward to playing Madison in a couple days."

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Two additional women's quarterfinals take place Wednesday in Melbourne. No. 27 Danielle Collins of the United States battles Alize Cornet of France. No. 7 Iga Swiatek of Poland faces Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

On the men's side, No. 6 Rafael Nadal of Spain outlasted No. 14 Denis Shapovalov in a five-set thriller, which lasted four hours and eight minutes Tuesday at Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal won 3 of 7 break points, won 85% of his point chances at the net and totaled just 28 unforced errors in the 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 win.

Shapovalov totaled 20 aces, won 2 of 8 break points and fired 53 winners in the loss. Nadal will face No. 7 Matteo Berrettini of Italy or No. 17 Gael Monfils of France in the semifinals.

Two other men's quarterfinal matches take place Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece takes on No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy. No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia then battles No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada for the other semifinal spot.

The women's singles final airs at 3:30 a.m. EST Saturday on ESPN. The men's singles final airs at 3:30 a.m. EST Sunday on ESPN.

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