Keys returns with Bencic upset in Qatar

In her first match in five months, Madison Keys has beaten Belinda Bencic at the Qatar Total Open.
In her first match in five months, Madison Keys has beaten Belinda Bencic at the Qatar Total Open.

Madison Keys has marked her return to tennis after five months on the sidelines with an upset win over sixth seed Belinda Bencic in the first round of the Qatar Total Open.

It was the American's first match since the first round of the French Open in late September, as Keys missed the Australian Open after contracting coronavirus in January.

She appeared to have put the break to good use if her as Keys struck the ball cleanly on Tuesday in a 6-4 6-1 victory.

But Bencic may have been feeling the effects of a hectic schedule as the match came only three days after she played in the final of the Adelaide International in Australia.

Fellow American Jessica Pegula continued her fine form after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, easing to a 6-2 6-1 win against Wang Qiang.

There were also victories for Ons Jabeur, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Laura Siegemund.

Australian Associated Press