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Three-time Grand Slam winner Lindsay Davenport may have announced Madison Keys' arrival when she said in a January tweet that Keys has "incredible potential," according to The Guardian. "Best hope I've seen for US since Williams."
That was after Keys got to the third round at this year's Australian Open. But she had begun turning heads the previous week in Sydney.
"If she plays like this every match she will soon be in the top 20, top 15, top 10," Li Na told The Australian after surviving a three-set match against Keys in Sydney.
Keys then defeated the No. 6-seed Li decisively at the French Open in May to provide evidence of her potential.
Keys backed that up by getting to the third round at Wimbledon before losing to fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets.
Keys is ranked No. 41 at the moment.
Keys, 18, turned professional at 14 and gained attention that year by beating Serena Williams in a World Team Tennis Challenge match in 2009.
Keys knew the match didn't mean much to Williams, but it was important to Keys.
"She obviously wasn’t going full out, it was first to five, no advantages, people cheering, your bench is on the side of the court, it was definitely not a competitive match," Keys told the Birmingham Mail. “But I think that was probably one of the best five or six games I have ever put together."
A shoulder injury has caused Keys problems during the summer hard-court season. She withdrew from tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati because of the ailment, and she has struggled in other events since Wimbledon. She hopes to be healthy for the U.S. Open.