Dec/11

19

It’s Keys and Levine Who Earn Aussie Open Wildcards


It’s less than one month away before the first slam of the year. The Aussie Open opens Down Under on Jan. 17th, and Madison Keys and Jesse Levine will be in the Main Draw. The Americans won the wild-card entry event played in Norcross, Ga. this past weekend, beating Gail Brodsky (sounds like a psycho-therapist’s name, but I guess she can play tennis, too) and Robby Ginepri, respectively, in the finals.

I like the 16-year-old Keys’ game a lot. Melanie Oudin was in this event as well, but she is so fast and far-gone that one wonders what did happen at the Open a couple of years ago when she reached the quarters. Keys is lithe, on the tall-side, and strikes the ball with confidence and passion. Originally from Iowa, is it crazy that in the span of little over a decade, two players from the Mid-west could be the best American players of their generations!?

There are other young American girls/young women, namely Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens, but Keys to me, has by far the most potential and at 16, she’s the youngest. Levine beating Ginepri in the finals is not a good statement on young American tennis talent. Levine, a Canadian really, is 24, but he seems so much older since he’s been around forever. At No. 164, he’s not been exactly lighting up the tour of late, and beating the 29-year-old Ginepri, ranked an atmospheric No. 312, begs the question: What happened to the young American studs, Jack Sock, Denis Kudla and Steve Johnson?

Anyone who saw this event live and can post a little commentary on how Levine and Ginepri reached the finals instead of say Sock-Johnson would be much appreciated. Otherwise, we move onto Australia, where certainly the best American hope appears to be Big John Isner. In sports, you’re saddled with a lame moniker like “Big John” until you do something significant like win a major. Isner played Murray tough deep into the US Open and although he sweats like a banshee and plays in galactic pace when he gets blown away by the heat, Big John may just be ready to drop the Big Down Under and be referred to forever more as just Isner.

But with Keys on the scene now, there’s more than just the Serena and Venus show on the women’s side. Watch out for Madison Keys.

4 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 20, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Big win for Levine, who had totally dropped off the radar for the last two years. He re-found the mojo that knocked off Safin at Wimbledon a couple of years ago. I had forgotten about J-Money, the only bigger surprise to see win this would have been if Spadea did. Rough weeks for Oudin, Sock, Johnson and Kudla who are struggling to assert themselves in the ATP with consistent results. The pecking order of US tennis outside Fish, Roddick, Isner, Blake and DY is wide open. Here is my Biofile with Keys which we did in Miami in March…
    https://www.tennis-prose.com/articles/biofile-with-madison-keys/

  • Dan Markowitz · December 20, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Spadea making a comeback? In what, most attempted women picked up in a Starbucks in Boca Raton? Scoop, you are amazing, is there anyone of any merit in American tennis that you don’t have Bio-File of?

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Agassi, Serena, Oudin, other than them I pretty much got everyone covered,

  • Dan Markowitz · December 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Never got an Andre bio-file!! How come? Did Andre stiff you? He’s got a pretty stiff back nowadays. Saw a replay of him playing Sampras in one of those Legends events recently and he still hits a beautiful backhand, but his movement is minimal. We used to say about guys who looked like Agassi, “looks like they got a board stuck up their butt.”

    The way my body’s breaking down, though, I’m not one to give Andre grief about his body. Both he and Sampras look pretty fit. But with Andre waddling around more than ever now and Pete pulling some leg muscle in their match, it wasn’t a great display of skills and athleticism. I do like watching Sampras play. Was there ever another player–maybe Borg–who never looked like he was bothered by anything on the court?

    Funny, Borg’s after-tennis life was so tumultuous for a long time, while Pete seems to always be on even-keel.

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