Keys, Levine Credit Fast Starts at Australian Open Wildcard Playoff

Reprinted from “Yahoo Sports”

Getting off to a fast start is never a bad thing in the sport of tennis. Building on and maintaining that fast start is sometimes more difficult to do.

Madison Keys awaits a serve on Sunday in Atlanta.

Madison Keys and Jesse Levine got off fast starts in their finals Sunday at the USTA Australian Open Wildcard Playoff and made it stick.

Keys powered through 21-year old Gail Brodsky 6-3, 6-4 in a match that was ruled by Key’s serve and forehand.

After mounting a 5-3 lead in the first set, Keys used a barrage of forehands to close out the first set without much trouble.

The USTA’s wildcard into next month’s Australian Open in Melbourne is the prize for Keys and just thinking about it brought a big smile to Keys’ face. “It hasn’t hit me yet, but I’m excited,” exclaimed Keys after the match. “I was trying to focus on having a good start today.”

The second set was similar to the first as Keys raced out to a 5-2 lead before her opponent even knew it. Brodsky, who trains at the USTA training center in New York made a run at keys to bring the set to 5-4. Keys then found her form and converted her first match point chance.

“I’m one of the younger ones still, so I’m not supposed to win matches,” added Keys. The days of Keys not supposed to be winning matches is quickly coming to an end.

On the men’s side, Jesse Levine, a former college player at Florida took down local favorite Robby Ginepri. Ginepri, who lives and is from the Atlanta area had the crowd support, but it didn’t matter against Levine. Levine made quick work of Ginepri 6-0, 6-2, 6-1.

“I was in the zone today,” Levine admitted after the match. “After the first set, I was asking myself if I could keep this up.”

Levine is on the way back to the top-100 from an injury that forced him to retreat to the minor leagues of tennis. “When you are out with injury in tennis, it’s hard to keep your ranking up,” stated Levine. “I dropped to about No. 460, now I’m back up to about No. 160.”

Both Keys and Levine will be looking to improve their rankings when the Australian Open begins on January 16, 2012. A fast start would be welcomed by both players.

Rick Limpert covers sports, technology and events in and around Atlanta. He was onsite covering the USTA Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs all weekend.

Madison Keys WTA Page – CLICK HERE

Madison Keys Official Website – CLICK HERE

“Yes, I’m starting to like these wild card playoffs,” said an ecstatic Keys after the match. “ I knew she was getting pressured by my power and my serve was able to come in handy today.”

Jesse Levine ATP Page – CLICK HERE

jesselevine7 Jesse Levine (Twitter)

 Thank you everyone for kind words and support!! Australian open to start off 2012!

One response

  1. […] Keys, Levine Credit Fast Starts at Australian Open Wildcard Playoff ( […]

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