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Young Women Blossoming on Court

AP Photo

Despite being a spectator, Pam Shriver looked flushed Wednesday as she left Show Court 3 at the Australian Open.

“That was the real deal,” Shriver, the former American star, said as she touched her open palm rapidly to her chest to demonstrate her racing pulse. “You don’t have a serve like that at 17 years old. The way she got out of that love-40 game. The easy power. The big forehand. It’s exciting. I haven’t felt this for 15 years.”

The real deal in question was Madison Keys, still just 17 in a game in which true teen prodigies have become scarcer on the Grand Slam grounds. But Keys, a tall and powerfully built American from Florida by way of Illinois, has been imposing herself on her elders with a newfound regularity so far this season, and on...

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