1
1
1

Keys Drawing Inspiration From The Top

Madison Keys may be inside the Top 50 but she is still hungry to learn on and off-court lessons from the game's very best.

Published July 14, 2013 12:00

Keys Drawing Inspiration From The Top
Madison Keys

This week, Illinois' most famous sporting son, Jimmy Connors, was back in the news again after being unveiled as the new coach of World No.2 Maria Sharapova.

Prior to this announcement, Connors had been experiencing the hitherto unfamiliar sensation of being the second-most talked about tennis player from the Prairie State. The reason behind the eight-time major winner's demotion: Madison Keys.

Still just 18, Keys is rapidly carving out a reputation for herself as one of the WTA's brightest young talents. After knocking out Heather Watson and Mona Barthel, she gave Agnieszka Radwanska a real scare in the third round at Wimbledon before eventually going down in three absorbing sets.

Her athletic game and the easy power, particularly on serve, earned plenty of rave reviews at the All-England Club, as well as some favorable comparisons with one of her childhood idols, Serena Williams.

All this is a far cry from her humble beginnings, lobbing balls into the family garden back in Rock Island. "When I first started, my parents just fed me balls in our driveway," Keys said of her introduction to the game. "We only had one tennis club in our city. That's where I ended up and where I did a couple summer camps for a few years.

"I lived in Illinois until I was 10. I loved Rock Island - I still go back and still consider it home. It's a very small town where everyone knows everyone."

Already inside the Top 50, Keys has already been earmarked by many as a future major contender. But while she may be rubbing shoulders with them in the locker room, Keys is still honest enough to admit that she could learn a thing or two from the WTA's leading lights, particularly its No.1.

"I think she's amazing," Keys said when asked about the example Williams sets for the younger generation. "It's amazing how she's just, you know, completely dominating. I like how she continues to go for her shots. She always goes for it. She always just plays her game.

"Hopefully one day it would be great to be able to be just a little bit like her. I think she's an extremely confident person, and I also think she fights very, very hard, which I think everyone tries to emulate."

However, despite being on first name terms with the 16-time Grand Slam champion, Keys has not had much success gleaning any technical tips.

"I know whenever I'm in the locker room and I see Serena, she'll talk to me," Keys added. "I see Rennae Stubbs occasionally, Lisa Raymond too. Everyone's pretty willing to help younger players. It's been a good experience so far, especially at Wimbledon.

"With Serena, we mostly don't talk about tennis, honestly. The other day we talked about her nails, so... If you've seen her nails, they're very cool this tournament. I actually kind of want to learn how to do that one day too!"

Share this page!

Related news

  • Venus Beats Birthday Girl Azarenka

    July 31, 2014
    Venus Williams kept her perfect record against Victoria Azarenka alive on Thursday night, beating her at the Bank Of The West Classic. And on her birthday, too...
  • Halep To Rise To World No.2

    July 31, 2014
    WTA Rising Star Simona Halep will pass Li Na in two weeks on Monday, August 11, to become the new World No.2. Who are some other famous names to get to No.2?
  • On This Day: Happy Birthday Vika

    July 31, 2014
    July 31, 1989 - Tom Hanks was on the case with a slobbery new partner, Prince was partying in Gotham City and one of the all-time greats was coming into the world.
To The Top
3