KEYS, SET AND MATCH! If you mentioned the name, Madison Keys, most people in the Tennis Community would think of the 14 year old, who won her first professional match in Ponte Vedra Beach. This helped push Keys in the headlines in American Tennis.
Most people believed Keys, may push on to quick success on the main Tour, thus beating the tricky transition from Juniors to Senior’s. This did not prove to be quite the Key! Madison Keys first wish to start her career was not win a Grand Slam but to simply wear a tennis dress.
She said watching Venus Williams play in her dresses had inspired her to want to wear a dress on the professional Tennis Courts. Keys later advised ‘I really wanted to wear a tennis dress’. Her parents advised her if she played Tennis they would purchase her a dress.
Keys advised that the prospect of having a dress, leapt her onto the Tennis Court. The rest is history. A Twilight Saga reader and Julia Roberts’ fan The next few years would prove to be a mixture of Junior Tennis and also trying to gain ranking points in order to path the way for the WTA Tour.
Madison who siblings are Sydney, Montana and Hunter, with her parent’s first introducing her to Tennis. Keys likes the author Stephanie Meyer of Twlight fan, her music favourite is young Taylor Swift. Julia Roberts is Keys’s preferred actress to watch.
Her most memorable experience is playing a match in an earthquake in Costa Rica. Keys stated if she did not play professional Tennis, she would be running a Bakery! Madison Keys at the start of year was the not the first ‘Teenager’ most critics and Tennis fans thought would be the third highest ranked teen in the WTA.
With the likes of Sloane Stephens, Laura Robson and Kristina Mladenovic grabbing the headlines, Keys was able to start her Season in a quiet fashion. Former world number one Lindsay Davenport stated what she thought of Keys ‘incredible potential’ and the ‘Best hope I’ve seen for U S since Williams’.
Keys said she was delighted at the comments Davenport had made about her progress and ability. The 2013 Season Keys started the year in Auckland at the ASB Classic, where she lost in the second round of qualifying.
She then moved to Apia International in Sydney. This time she could make it through qualifying and then beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic and the experienced Zheng Jie of China to capture her first quarter final at a Premier Event on the WTA Tour.
Keys would lose to another Chinese player, Li Na but in three tight sets. Keys had shown her potential and the beliefs many had stated. Playing in her second Australian Open, she made it through the Third Round of a Grand Slam Event for the first time, again losing to another top ten ranked opponent, Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Keys’s ranking was moving her faster up the WTA rankings. With early round loses in Memphis to Sabine Liscki and at Indian Wells losing to former US Open Champion, Samantha Stosur. Keys would of have been disappointed at losing to her fellow American, Lauren Davis in the second round of the Sony Open in Miami.
Clay would be the next step for young American, this began in Charleston at the Family Circle Cup. Keys would make her second quarter final of the year. The defeated opponents included Bethanie Mattek Sands of the USA. In the quarter finals, Venus Williams the woman who had inspired Keys to take to the Tennis Courts awaited.
Williams won in straight sets, but had yet again proved she would be a force in the future. She had lost the opportunity to play the world number one, Serena Williams who awaited the winner of the quarter final match. The Victory over Li Na On the Europe clay of Madrid, Keys would earn her highest ranked scalp of her career by defeating Li Na in straight sets.
Keys who had lost in the qualifying of the Event was awarded a lucky losers spot. The Chinese player admitted after the match she had been shocked to see Keys walk onto Court with her, as she did not know that her opponent had withdrawn.
Li seemed unsettled by Keys following their three set battle in Sydney, this helped the young American stun the top five player by winning in straight sets and help her claim her first top five career win of her career. At the Second Grand Slam of the year, Keys would lose to another teenager, this time she would go down to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.
This match would highlight the next phase in the WTA Tour, the hitting from the baseline showed the power of both players. Thus showing once the pair have had the experience of playing on the WTA Tour, surely two top twenty ranking places await.
A Player Made to play Well on Grass The Grass Courts of England awaited Keys, she first entered the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. Keys beat her fellow American Jamie Hampton in a close three set battle in the second round winning in the third set tie break.
Hampton reached her third quarter final of the year, Magdalena Rybarikova won in straight sets but Hampton had gained four matches on the grass courts in the lead up to Wimbledon. At Wimbledon Keys beat the home player, Heather Watson in straight sets.
She went on to beat the highly rated German player, Mona Barthel. Keys had again reached the Third Round of a Grand Slam Event for the second time, this time she met the reigning Wimbledon finalist, Agnieszka Radwanska. The match up proved to be the match of the last thirty two.
Played on a hot Saturday afternoon. Radwanska won a close first set, in the second set, Keys showed her firepower, claiming the second set. The third set was a tight affair but Radwanska showed her experience and won through.
But many saw at The Championships, how Keys could be a real Contender in years to come. With her big ground strokes and huge first serve. In the Summer Keys would move to her favourite part of the year, the North American Hard courts.
The first stop would be in Stanford, at the Bank of the West Classic. Keys would gain revenge over Rybarikova but would lose a tight match to the experienced Vera Dushevina. In Washington, Keys would be denied her fourth quarter final of the year, losing on a final set tiebreaker to Monica Niculescu of Romania.
At the final Grand of Slam of the year, at Keys home Grand Slam Event, she would be drawn to play former world number one and former finalist at the Event, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia. Jankovic showed her recent form by toppling Keys in straight sets.
The final stop of the year would be Asia on the hard courts. The Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo would again show how much confidence Keys had grown during the year. In the first round, Keys defeated the ever growing Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in three tight sets.
This showing that loses to Radwanska at Wimbledon and to Niculescu in Washington had helped the young American show she could finish matches in three sets. Keys would make the third round and lose to the former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, in straight sets.
In Beijing, Keys would lose in the second round to Radwanska again. Her last event would be in Osaka. At the HP Open in Japan, Keys would reach her maiden WTA semi-final appearance, where it took former US Open winner Samantha Stosur to end her conquest for her first WTA Tour title.
Keys would finish the year with year ending ranking of 38 thus being the third youngest player in the top fifty behind fellow American Sloane Stephens and the Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. Hopes for the 2014 Season Keys will be hoping to improve on her recent results and surely a title on the WTA Tour will not be too forthcoming.
Her assets of a big first serve and powerful ground strokes should prove to add to America’s growing list of Grand Slam Champions. Her first WTA event of the year is scheduled to be at the Brisbane International, where the likes of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are also competing.