Venus rises again to meet Keys in generation clash

Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:30am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Evergreen Venus Williams turned back the clock at the Australian Open on Monday to book her first grand slam quarter-final in five years and set up an intriguing matchup with Madison Keys, the teenager touted as the future of American tennis.

Williams' 6-3 2-6 6-1 upset of Agnieszka Radwanska under the Rod Laver Arena lights proved there was still life in her 34-year-old legs and ensured the United States would have a third woman in the last eight after younger sister Serena edged Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in the day session.

Not since 2003 have three American women made it to the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park and 2004 was the last time at any grand slam.

Fittingly, the Williams sisters were the two U.S. women accompanying Meghann Shaughnessy into the last eight in Melbourne in 2003, with Serena, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport making the quarters at the U.S. Open the following year.

Keys was four when a 19-year-old Venus captured the first of her seven grand slam titles at the 1999 U.S. Open. Now 19, she can reach her maiden semi-final in the majors with a win over Venus.

"It feels really good. My mom texted me before the tournament," Keys told reporters after defeating her namesake and compatriot Madison Brengle earlier in the day session.

"She said, 'it's your last grand slam as a teenager', and sent me a bunch of grandma faces.

"I'm like, 'thanks for reminding me, mom. Thank you. Love you. It's huge'. But it's my last slam as a teenager. I'm doing so well and hopefully I can keep it up."   Continued...

Venus Williams of the U.S. jumps to hit a return to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during their women's singles fourth round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria