Promising American Teen Madison Keys Moves into Third Round of Australian Open

Madison Keys (Photo by Erik Gudris) ©Tennis Panorama New

Madison Keys (Photo by Erik Gudris) ©Tennis Panorama News

(January 16, 2013) Seventeen year-old American Madison Keys will be making her first appearance in the third round of major on Friday. Keys dismantled No. 30 Tamira Paszek 6-2, 6-1, closing the match with an ace.

“My serving definitely helped me today,” Keys noted. “In the first set when I got down Love‑40 when I was up 4‑2, I think being able to hold and come back definitely helped me out.”

On top of her serving performance which produced 6 aces, she hit 23 winners in the 56 minute match.

The 105th ranked Keys first picked up a racquet a four,  trained at the Chris Evert Academy  in Boca Raton, Florida and has switched to the local  USTA training center. Keys  gained a place in the Australian  Open main draw when she won the USTA wildcard playoff tournament in December.

The promising Keys who won a pro match at 14 against a top 100 player in 2009, took No. 7 Li Na to three sets last week at the Sydney tournament in the quarterfinals.

“Really, really liked watching Kim Clijsters,” Keys lists as her tennis idol.  “I thought she was very passionate, and I thought her movement was incredible.”

She admits what drew her to the sport,  “the outfits,” she said to media with a smile. She fell in love with Venus Williams’ dress seeing her play on TV.

“Really wanted a tennis dress.  My parents told me that if I played, they would buy me one.  I was like, Hey, I’ll try it.”

Keys who has played in previous Grand Slam events feels composed for this one.  “I feel more prepared for this one,” said Keys. “My first US Open main draw, it was a big stadium and wasn’t really used to it.  But I feel good about this one so far.

Keys will take on fifth seed Angelique Kerber in the third round on Friday.

“I think just really have to focus on playing my game and just worrying about me, “ Keys said about the match-up.  “She’s obviously a good player.  She’s been around and she’s done well the last couple years.

“I think if I just focus on what I’m doing, then it doesn’t really matter.”

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News


Uncle Sam at the Down Under Slam – Day 1 Edition

Venus Williams photo © Enrique Fernandez for Tennis Panorama

Venus Williams photo © Enrique Fernandez for Tennis Panorama

(January 14, 2013) Looking at how American tennis players fared on day one of the 2013 Australian Open.

American tennis players went  6-3 on the first day of the Australian Open with Venus Williams leading the way with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Galina Voskoboeva.

“Obviously it’s nice to spend less time on the court, and not be in long sets,” Williams said after the match. She  had a first-serve percentage of 70 percent and converted on 6 of 11 break point chances.

“I don’t think my opponent quite got the hang of – you know, it’s hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure.” Williams said of her opponent “I did my best to just close it out.”

Sam Querrey, who is the highest ranking American man, due to the withdrawal of 13rh ranked John Isner, came back from a set down to defeat Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

Querrey will take on another American in the second round, Brian Baker, who defeated American turned Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (0), 3-6, 6-2.

Ryan Harrison came back from a set down to advance, defeating Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.  Bad news for Harrison – he’ll face top seed Novak Djokovic in the second round.

Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, the 1th0 men’s seed outlasted American qualifier Steve Johnson in a first round five-set marathon 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-2. Johnson was the first reigning NCAA champion to qualify for the Australian Open.

Tim Smyczek came into the tournament as lucky loser, and thanks to housemate John Isner’s withdrawal  due to a right knee injury, made it into the main draw. Smyczek was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic.

Veteran Michael Russell fell to No. 5 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

Touted as “one to watch” seventeen year-old Madison Keys won her first match in Melbourne on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6 (0) victory against Casey Dellacqua of Australia.

Sorana Cirstea had no problems beating American Coco Vandeweghe  6-4 6-2 in first round action.

Americans scheduled for Tuesday play in Melbourne include No. 3 Serena Williams, 29 seed Sloane Stephens, Vania King, Jamie Hampton, Melanie Oudin, Vavara Lepchencko, Lauren Davis, Rajeev Ram, and Rhyne Williams.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News