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USTA FL Friday Blog: Serena and Sloane All Right; Tennis on TV

May 10, 2013 09:46 AM

Florida Player of the Week: Madison Keys

Madison Keys the cupcake baker -- as a 12 year old at the USTA Florida Girls' 14 Designated
Out of the WTA Mutua Madrid Open earlier this week after losing in the qualifying tournament, Boca Raton's Madison Keys was doing her algebra homework in the player lounge when she was notified she would be going on court in 10 minutes -- to face former French Open champ Li Na on the red clay.
Keys had signed in to the "lucky loser" list after losing in the qualifying, and then actually got lucky when Li's opponent pulled out of their first round match citing an upper respiratory illness. Keys put down her book, took to the court and beat Li 6-3, 6-2, a comprehensive win over the No. 5 seed and Grand Slam champion.
"I had practice really early this morning because I didn't think I was in [the main draw]," Keys said. "I just kind of sat around waiting all day and, like, 10 minutes before the match I got a text message...and then we went on 10 minutes later."
Currently ranked at a career-high No. 62, Keys has yet to show the ability to go deep in tournaments, but has the weaponry to bother any top player. With her ability to play an all-court game and go toe-to-toe with the big hitters on tour, her coaches at the USTA Training Center-Headquarters in Boca Raton must be loving the progress they're seeing.

Serena in Spain Plays Mainly Big Game

World No. 1 and Palm Beach Gardens resident Serena Williams took the high road regarding the spat with Sloane Stephens this week, and on the court is letting her racquet do the talking at the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Spain. This morning she overcame a second-set hiccup to defeat unseeded Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 0-6, 7-5, advancing into the semifinals where she will next face former French Open finalist Sara Errani. Another Florida resident, No. 2-seeded Maria Sharapova of Bradenton, moved into the other semifinal with a win Friday morning, defeating Kaia Kanepi in straight sets. In the semis she will meet No. 6 Angelique Kerber or No. 16 Ana Ivanovic, to be played later today.
Williams is now 26-1 on clay since the start of last year's claycourt season, but can lose the No. 1 ranking this week if Sharapova advances a round further than her. Williams said she liked the long rallies and mixing up the pace of her shots on clay. "It's easy actually, because when you take pace off you don't hit it as hard and don't exhaust as much energy," she said. "Especially on the serve, I think it's a little easier. But it's really fun to hit a big serve and a big winner, too -- both of them are fun."

Florida Teens on the Rise

Two Florida teens scored victories at two different levels last Sunday when Pembroke Pine's 14-year-old Sofia Kenin won the junior ITF Grade 4 singles title in Daytona Beach, and Deerfield Beach 18-year-old Jan Abaza won the doubles title at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, the Audi Melbourne Pro tennis Classic.
The Daytona Beach event experienced so much rain it had to be completed in Boca Raton, with Kenin claiming her first ITF title. She is also the reigning USTA National 14s champion. Abaza, a former champion at the US Open Playoffs-Florida women's singles tournament, won the USTA Pro Circuit title with New Yorker Louisa Chirico.


Aussie ATP player Bernard Tomic's dad has always done his part to forward the "crazy tennis parent" narrative, but after reportedly knocking his son around then head-butting his son's practice partner, sending him to the hospital, it seems he may have finally worn out his welcome on tour.
Retired former No. 1 Andy Roddick and Venus Williams are now investors in World TeamTennis.
Former Grand Slam finalists Todd Martin and MaliVai Washington will be on hand later this month to kick off a first in the state of Florida at an elementary school.

Tennis on TV This Weekend

9am-6pm -- ATP Madrid (live)
6-10pm -- WTA Madrid (delayed)
5-9am -- WTA Madrid (live)
9:30am-noon, 1-3pm -- ATP Madrid (live)
7-9am -- WTA Madrid (live)
10am-12:30pm -- ATP Madrid (live)
Happy weekending,
The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach. Want a USTA or tennis-related question answered in the blog? To e-mail him CLICK HERE.





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