I’m a big fan of Madison Keys and I expect her to become world number one in a few years but if you asked me to rate her year on the tour out of 10 then I would probably have to go for a 6. The 20 year old American is ranked at 19 in the world right now with a win/loss record of 22/12 this year and two wins away from 200 career wins. Madison is only 20 years old and has so many years ahead of her on the tour but I have been a little disappointed with some results. Madison’s year has not be a disaster, to be ranked at 19 is a fantastic achievement and can build on that from now until the end of the season but I would have liked to have seen maybe another WTA title to her name however she did make the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the start of the year losing to the eventual champion Serena Williams and also made the quarter finals of Wimbledon but it would be great to see her go further in WTA tournaments.
Standing in her way of a place in the second round in Cincinnati is Timea Bacsinszky who has had her best year on the tour and made the headlines back in May reaching the semi-finals of Roland Garros and came close to beating Serena Williams before losing the match in three sets. Since making the semi-finals of Roland Garros and the quarter finals of Wimbledon she has gone under the radar a little bit but has only played one match since Wimbledon and ended up losing in the first round of Toronto 6-3 6-7 6-7 to Alison Riske. I do find it a bit odd when players take about 4/5 weeks off after Wimbledon and then struggles to find form in a busy hard court season ahead of the US Open which actually does come around quite quickly. At the same time Madison Keys didn’t play in Toronto for some unknown reason.
Keys is a very strong player, her main weapon is her serve and her forehand which she can produce incredible power off and is also very strong off the backhand as well. However she does play a brand of tennis in my opinion which I would call high risk. As she plays with power, precision and likes hitting a target there is an element of risk, you will end up producing winners but also producing unforced errors and it’s important to keep that ratio of winners to errors very close and at the same time hope to get a few cheap errors from the opponent. Consistency and composure has been a problem for Madison this year but despite being on the tour for a good few years she is still only 20 so to be ranked inside the top 20 in the world is a great achievement and I only expect her to continue to rise up the rankings.
Timea is a good player on the baseline, she can grind out results and isn’t afraid to defend at the back of the court and is very good from player this style. If Madison’s game is on par then I can only see one winner in this match however if she is forced into making cheap errors then it could be Timea’s match. If there is one thing I would say could do with improving its Madison’s composure.
On a hard court I think Madison is the better player and with a home crowd behind her hopefully they can cheer her on in the tournament and reach her 200th career win.