(January 7, 2013) -- Madison Keys won this year's Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs and is hoping for big things in 2013. She is on the right track by qualifying for the main draw of this week's Apia International Sydney event and upsetting Lucie Safarova in the first round. Learn more about this rising American prospect.
1. Illinois Born: Keys was born in Rock Island, Illinois on February 17th, 1995.
2. Vision of Venus: Keys first decided to take up tennis at the age four after she told her parents she liked the dress Venus Williams was wearing at Wimbledon. Her parents told Keys if she took up the sport that they would buy her a tennis dress, so she agreed.
3. History Maker: Keys is the seventh youngest player ever to win a WTA tour match when, at the age of 14, she beat Alla Kudryavtseva in the first round at Ponte Vedra Beach.
4. Breakout Year: Also at age 14, Keys defeated in 2009 then reigning Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in a World Team Tennis match 5-1. Keys turned pro later that same year.
5. 2012 Results: Though she lost in the first round of this year's Australian Open to Zheng Jie, Keys later won two ITF events in Saguenay and Phoenix. Those results helped boost her ranking to a career high No. 137 in the world.
6. Favorite Players: "Huge fan of Roger Federer. One of my favorite players. I really love Kim Clijsters. I love how she plays and how passionate she is. She gets mad sometimes but you can tell how much she wants to be there and I love that. So those are my top two favorites."
7. Favorite Song and Band: "Right now I'm listening to alternative stuff. Imagine Dragons is my favorite band right now."
8. Favorite On-Court Moment of 2012: "I played Wimbledon qualifying for the first time. So it was really fun to be in that tournament. Because I think for many Wimbledon is the tournament you want to be in every year. So that first round was probably one of my favorite matches."
9. Favorite shot: "I really like my serve."
10. Off the Court: When not competing, Keys enjoys movies, shopping, baking, and spending time with family and friends.
(Photo Credit: TennisNow/Gudris)