MELBOURNE (AFP) - The legendary Williams sisters on Wednesday predicted a big future for American teenager Madison Keys, including Grand Slam titles, after she gatecrashed the Australian Open semi-finals at Venus' expense.
The 19-year-old has long been on the radar of US pundits desperate for a new generation to emerge from the Williams siblings' long shadow and Keys lived up to the hype when she beat Venus in the quarters at Melbourne Park.
Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Serena, who will meet Keys in Thursday's semi-final, said she believed the world No. 35 was a future major winner.
She noted having Lindsay Davenport as coach was a big asset for Keys, who hired the former Grand Slam winner late last year.
"Lindsay and Madison have done really well together," she said.
"Obviously, this is her first semi-finals. I'm sure there's going to be many more, including Grand Slam wins, for Madison. It's a good match and I think they really just make a good team. Really nice, easy-going people.
"It's also great for me and Venus because we know that, finally, there's other Americans that are constantly playing well and playing better, showing that they want to be the world's greatest," she added.
Venus, who was a childhood idol of Keys' when she was growing up, said "the sky's the limit" on the teenager's future.
"You have to give credit where credit is due. She played really well. This is her moment today," she added.