From when Madison Keys came onto the tour she was tipped as the player to replace Serena and Venus on the tour one day. That is pressure like no other in our sport right there. Serena and Venus are far from done on the tour but etching her name in US Open and Tennis history is the young American.
I’ve written a lot about Keys in the past and the pressure she has had, the injury issues and inconsistencies with her game. No one comes onto the tour as the finished article when you start playing there is that wave you ride but then it crashes down back to earth and it becomes about developing a game and that could be hundreds of different things.
I think on Saturday Madison will write history and I hope she does as it’s been a long road to get here like it has for Sloane Stephens but that is the sad thing about tennis at the end of the day it ends in disappointment for one.
Madison’s game has come together well and credit to her for that she’s knuckled when others her age have faltered.
I have always said Madison’s game was high risk and that was because of her style where she insisted of just going for it. Whether it was the forehand cross court, backhand cross court or down the line it was all or nothing but slowly we have seen an introduction of variety.
It started off with the drop shots but the movement takes a while to get right and has done well and we have seen in New York over the fortnight her movement on the hard courts especially these fast ones at Flushing Meadows is better she slides and we see slice in her game and more trickery off the backhand and when she lines up those backhands it does remind me of Murray or Serena the way she holds her body.
Planning is another option she has added and you might think well how can you plan? Keys use to play high risk just go for it and spectate from the baseline but with the forehand now she add’s top spin as you can see below from two different angles and follows in.
Image Credit – US Open / Eurosport
She gets good clearance on the net with the top spin but because of how low the shot is and Keys is inside the baseline already hitting the forehand the only option for Coco is to slice which Madison expected to go out but didn’t but then unleashed a forehand winner cross court breaking the defence of her compatriot.
I hope she does it, it will be an interesting battle. Both deserve it and it is a shame there is only one winner but as the song goes the winner takes it all!