PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Fourteen-year-old Madison Keys made her WTA Tour debut a memorable one, upsetting Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva 7-5, 6-4 on Monday in the opening round of The MPS Group Championships.
The teen from Boca Raton, Fla., fell behind 5-2 in the first set but used powerful groundstrokes to break Kudryavtseva twice and a serve that averaged 101 mph to win the set.
Keys lost the first game of the second set before going on a four-game run, and after the 81st-ranked Kudryavtseva fought back to 4-5, Keys won the match with an ace.
“The first two or three games I was nervous,” she said. “It was kind of just the first few games of just hitting the ball and feeling it and really getting into a rhythm that made me feel a lot better.”
Keys could face the tournament’s top seed and the world’s ninth-ranked player, Nadia Petrova, in the second round. The Russian opens play Tuesday against Olga Govortsova.
“I actually got into tennis because of Venus and Serena (Williams),” Keys said. “I was watching Wimbledon one year and Venus was playing and I really liked how she was playing but I also liked her outfit.
“I told my dad I wanted a dress like Venus’ and he said ‘only if you play tennis.’ So, I went to Walgreen’s, got a racket and started playing.”
Photo by XXI Copa Internacional Juvenil Club Casablanca