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They are separated by three years and 43 rankings spots, but Madison Keys sees herself in 19-year-old Naomi Osaka.

Two of the most talented young power players squared off in Indian Wells last night with Keys prevailing 6-1, 6-4, to set up a BNP Paribas Open fourth-round clash with former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Watch: BNP Paribas Open Live Blog

The match was a rematch of their striking tug-of-war at the 2016 US Open when Keys squandered a second-set lead then roared back from a 1-5 deficit in the decider derailing Osaka, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3).

Based on two meetings Keys sees striking similarities between the aggressive baseliners.

"She's already a good player. I think she's going to be a great player," Keys told the media in Indian Wells of Osaka. "She reminds me a lot of myself and how she plays. I think she's going to figure out how to put her game together.

"When you hit that big and you have those options, sometimes it's tough to make the right decision. So I think she's going to be a really good player."



Asked if she envisions their encounters escalating into a future rivalry, Keys sounded optimistic. 

"As far as thinking of myself that way, I have surprised myself in a lot of ways, being in the top 10 and all of that," Keys said. "It's taken a while for me to think, you know, this is where I got here myself and I deserve to be here. That still sometimes is kind of hard for me to fully accept, but, you know, I'd happily play a slam final against Naomi Osaka one day."

Photo credit: Christopher Levy

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