Madison Keys did it.

She outsmarted Caroline Wozniacki.

In the process, Keys beat Wozniacki at her own game.

Of course, it helped that Keys always had superior firepower on standby.

As Wozniacki said afterward, it wasn't Keys' power that made the difference.

No, the difference was that Wozniacki didn't play the way she had a day earlier. She committed errors on routine shots. Instead of having seven aces as she did in the semifinals, Wozniacki double-faulted five times in Sunday's Volvo Car Open final.

That's definitely not the Danish star's usual style of play.

But then, she was facing an immensely talented and powerful opponent.

Couldn't keep pace

After a while, Keys was banging so many winners, especially backhands down the line, that Wozniacki couldn't keep pace. That's when Wozniacki wilted just a bit and allowed Keys to win her first Volvo Car Open title with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory on a rainy Sunday on Daniel Island.

Keys didn't completely back off from her shots. She went for them, but probably not as often as usual, just often enough to nail 45 winners.

At times, Keys appeared to be content rallying with Wozniacki from the baseline, just waiting to unleash her relentless power. She waited until just the right moment much of the time, especially late in the first set and throughout the second set.

It didn't hurt to have the power in reserve.

Woz wilts

Wozniacki appeared to wilt in the face of Keys' arsenal once Keys broke her in the fifth game of the second set for a 3-2 lead.

While Keys was in control of her game most of the day, she did let the control slip away a few times. Her only weakness was her zest for supremacy when she completely overhit a few forehands in an almost boastful attempt to show her power. That was midway through the match, but then she appeared to regain her total focus.

Woz lapses

While Keys played excellent tennis most of the match, Wozniacki can only blame herself for not keeping the pressure on Keys. Several times in the course of the match, it appeared Wozniacki had Keys under control and may have actually had a lapse in concentration.

Two of the times came when Wozniacki gained 3-2 and 4-3 leads in the first set but then allowed Keys to overcome a break point in the sixth game and a double break point in the eighth game.

There also was the Keys lob that Wozniacki let fall for a winner at her feet on the baseline for a 6-3 lead in the first-set tiebreaker, and then the net cord shot Keys hit that Wozniacki didn't even move toward as it dropped into the court to give Keys a 4-2 lead in the second set.

Those two shots by Keys may not seem that important, but they may well have played a significant role in deciding both sets.

Keys to keys

The fact Keys won the new Volvo car made a lot of people happy. No, not because she's going to loan the car out to her supporters in Charleston. But she might. She obviously loves it here.

Keys has practically grown up in tennis on the courts at Family Circle Tennis Center. Her seventh straight appearance on Daniel Island was the charm.

The 24-year-old has faithfully supported this tournament over the years and has become a crowd favorite. It was her turn to win.

A happy Navarro

Ben Navarro, of course, was one of the happiest observers on Sunday.

"I am very, very happy," the first-year VCO owner said. "Everyone did a great job."

He had to be, especially pleased with the work of the ground crew in preparing the court so well and so quickly for a second straight day after heavy rains.

"Amazing," Navarro said.

 Reach James Beck at See his latest columns on the Grand Slams at

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