The 21-year-old Madison Keys has perhaps been one the most consistent players on the WTA tour this year. The hard-hitting American has had a breakthrough season but more importantly her game has kept abreast of her rising reputation. After clinching her first WTA title back in 2014, Keys won her second title this year but more significantly has ushered in a new wave of the power game that is fast becoming the hallmark of the women’s game. Gone are the days of the subtle yet canny game played by the likes of Justin Henin as Muguruza, Keys and the likes look set to continue the trend set by the Williams sisters.
Keys, who is a powerful baseliner, also breaches the 100mph mark consistently with her serves which makes her a tough customer to beat. Her serving style is also a bit rare on the WTA tour. In fact, Keys was identified as a precocious talent from a very young age. Notably, she became one of the youngest players to win a WTA match when she beat Top100 player Alla Kudryavtseva in an official WTA tournament at the age of 14. Interestingly, she had even defeated Serena Williams in a World Team Tennis tournament also at the age of 14. Incredible, isn’t it!
After a stellar 2016, she’s marked for greater things in the future. As such, let’s take a look at some of the high-points for Keys in 2016.
#5 Rome Masters Final
Though Keys failed to get past the 4th round in any of the Grand Slams in 2016, she proved to be a force to be reckoned with in other high-profile WTA tournaments
. Importantly, she impressed the pundits when she reached the final of the Rome Masters, a week before the French Open. Crucially, it was the biggest final of Keys’ career so far. Keys defeated 2 top-10 players in Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza en route to the final where she was confronted by none other than the great Serena Williams.
Though the less-fancied American had displayed commendable grit and determination to down Muguruza in the semifinal, Williams proved to be a different proposition altogether as she lost in straight sets. But Keys had certainly taken heart from her performance in the tournament which would set the tone for her brilliant season.