Keys reaches Birmingham final to crack Top 10

June 18, 2016 01:36 PM

By E.J. Crawford,

Madison Keys is about to go where no American woman has gone this century.

With her victory Saturday at the Aegon Classic, the Wimbledon tune-up in Birmingham, England, the 21-year-old American has secured a place in the Top 10 of the WTA rankings for the first time in her career. According to the WTA, she is the first U.S. woman to make her Top 10 debut since Serena Williams in 1999.

Keys secured her Top 10 entry by defeating Carla Suarez Navarro, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, in the Birmingham semifinals.

"I'm really excited right now, but I'm also trying to stay focused on the final," Keys told "I haven't even really put a ton of thought of being in the Top 10. That will definitely sink in after the tournament. I'm happy with it, but more focused on wanting to win the final tomorrow."

In the final, Keys will face Barbora Strycova, who denied an all-American final with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over CoCo Vandweghe. The loss snapped Vandeweghe’s eight-match grass-court winning streak, which included a title last week at the Ricoh Open in the Netherlands as well as three victories in Birmingham highlighted by a first-round upset of world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska.

When the new rankings are released Monday, Keys, currently No. 16 in the world, will join No. 1 Serena and No. 9 Venus Williams in the Top 10. That will mark the first time the U.S. has had three women in the WTA Top 10 since 2005, when Lindsay Davenport was No. 2, Venus was No. 7 and Serena was No. 9.