Keys, who played her first professional event on the ITF Women’s Circuit recently in Fort Walton Beach but fell first round, was a wildcard into The MPS Group Championships this week and made excellent use of that, beating world No.81 Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia, 75 64. She rallied from 5-2 down to win the first set and hit four aces in the second set – including one on match point.
“The last couple of days were just practice and getting ready for my first round, and after today I have to go back out and do the same thing for my next match,” Keys said. “I don’t really look past my next match. I just take it day by day.”
Keys, originally from Chicago, now lives in Boca Raton and trains at the Evert Academy, coached by John Evert. Among her junior accomplishments are Under 12 titles at Eddie Herr and the Orange Bowl in 2007, and she lists clay as her favorite surface. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami two years ago, Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de Brito became the seventh-youngest player to win a singles main draw match on the Tour; Keys beat her by just four days.
The following is a list of the 10 youngest players ever to win a main draw match in singles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour:
1. Fernandez, Mary Joe (13 years & 6 months – 1985 Miami)
2. Capriati, Jennifer (13 years & 11 months – 1990 Boca Raton)
3. Graf, Steffi (13 years, 11 months & 10 days – 1983 Roland Garros)
4. Hingis, Martina (14 years & 1 week – 1994 Z