Is Madison Keys signs autographs for her growing number of fans (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service)

Madison Keys signs autographs for fans (Photo credit: Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service)

“I think right now Madison is probably leading the pack with the new young Americans doing well,” Serena Williams said of 21-year old tennis player Madison Keys, joining a group of tennis pundits who believe in Keys’ potential. Is Keys the next American tennis superstar?”

Rolling out had the opportunity to ask Keys what she thought about Serena’s comment, and the thought of her being the next American star. “I think that’s very nice of her to say,” Keys said, with a laugh. “It always feels good to hear Serena say something like that. More than anything, it just makes me want to go out and keep working and trying to get better. Just because if someone who has been in her position where she’s been No. 1 for so long says that about me, you know, I really want to do my best to kind of live up to that and do everything I can to put myself in a good position.”

In the 2016 U.S. Open, Keys has certainly been living up to her potential. After losing the first set of her opening night match Monday, Aug. 29 and being two points from being eliminated, she rebounded to beat Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

After a dominant round two performance that saw her defeat Kayla Day 6-1,-6-1, Keys found herself down 1-5 in the final set against 18-year old Japanese and Haitian player Naomi Osaka, before storming back to win 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3). Keys discussed her close matches and the ability to pull it out. “I mean, obviously those aren’t the most fun matches, but I just knew that, you know, if I stayed in the match that I could maybe have a chance to come back and get back in it. No matter what the score was, it was always just trying to get back in the match. Once I was able to get a little bit of momentum I felt like I found my game a bit more. At that point I knew I had to kind of step up or else I was going to be going home,” she said.

When Serena Williams does slow down, and we see no signs of that yet, but, at almost 35, she has to eventually, Madison Keys will be the face of American tennis on the women’s side, perhaps overall. The hope of the country will be in good hands with the budding star.

Madison Keys faces two-time U.S. Open finalist and great friend of Serena, Caroline Wozniacki, this afternoon.

Derrel Johnson

Lover of Christ, sports, hip-hop, my hometown of Harlem and much more. IG @JazzJohnson1