You may have heard about the “Black Girl Magic” at the 2017 U.S. Open Women’s Singles Tournament last week. Among the four semi-finalists, the excited media chatter reported, were three black women! This is a first for a sport that has historically been predominately played by white athletes. Well for this week’s Famous Friday, we are going to take a look at one of those women – Madison Keys, who is actually multiracial and pretty magical!!
When asked about the significance of three of the four women in the semi finals being African American, Madison replied, “I’m very much right in the middle,” she said. “I don’t really think of it. I don’t really identify myself as white or African-American. I’m just me. I’m Madison.”
Madison and her three sisters, Sydney, Montana, and Hunter are the children of Christine (white) and RIck (black) who are both attorneys. Keys’ interest in tennis started very young because she liked Venus Williams’ white tennis dress. She participated in the Chris Everett Academy beginning at age 9 and joined the WTA tour at age 14. When she won a match in that tourney she became the youngest woman ever to do so. She was the first American woman to debut in the top 10 since Venus’ sister Serena did it in 1999. But Venus is not her only tennis inspiration. She says her idol is Roger Federer because she likes the way he stays so calm even when things are going badly.Now at age 22, Madison has become one of the very best in the world. The 2017 US Open was her first Grand Slam final. She beat Elise Mertens, Tatjana Maria, 17th seed Elena Vesnina, 4th seed Elina Svitolina, qualifier Kaia Kanepi and 20th seed CoCo Vandeweghe advancing to the finals. Madison lost to her close friend Sloane Stephens in straight sets. The award presentation following their match showed both their friendship and their class.
Madison, who currently lives in Boca Raton, Florida, has been a tennis star since she was just a kid, but in many ways is just like other girls her age. She likes Taylor Swiftmusic and has a thing for polar bears. She loves to bake desserts and says if she were not a tennis phenom she would consider owning her own bakery! Her specialty is M&M cookies. She also really wants a BMW!
– Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Teens Co-President