After beating Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 6-3 in the second round of the Dubai Championships, Agnieszka Radwanska was asked who she thought was the best under-20 player. Radwanska blanked at first but eventually chose American Madison Keys.
“Yes, I saw her couple of times, and I think this girl can play very good tennis,” Radwanska told reporters. “I think that girl will be, you know, I think top 20, top 30 very soon.”
Radwanska isn’t the only top-five player impressed by Keys’ poise and power. Li Na, who barely edged Keys in a January match, was equally impressed.
“She has huge, big serve,” Li said after that match. “She’s pretty, pretty good. I mean, if she play level like this every match, she should be soon top 20, top 15, top 10.”
Keys, who turned 18 this week, is the second-youngest player in the top 100 at No. 79 and made waves in January when she made her first WTA quarterfinal in Sydney and the third round of the Australian Open. Don’t get carried away though. Keys lost in the first round of Memphis this week to Sabine Lisicki 7-5, 6-3 in her first tournament since.