Madison Keys added her name to the list of notable absentees at the 2017 WTA Elite Trophy held in the beautiful city of Zhuhai as her lingering wrist problems will keep her out of the second-tier year-ending Championships, just like how it bothered her throughout the year. Along with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Johanna Konta, Keys will spend the rest of 2017 trying to recuperate and fully recover from her injury, which has been hindering her from further success since 2016.
Season thus far
Keys missed the first three months of the year due to the same injury, having undergone a surgery on her left wrist. Thus, with the months of inactivity, the American fell out of the top 10 early in the year. However, she impressed in her first tournament of her comeback, reaching the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open.
Disappointing results followed as Keys started to put in inconsistent performances while her wrist continued to bother her once again, having gone through yet another surgery after the French Open.
Nonetheless, the trigger factor of her comeback finally kicked in as she put in some incredible performances throughout the week at the Bank of the West Classic, eventually claiming the title in Stanford in front of her home crowd having defeated soon-to-be world number one Garbine Muguruza in the process.
Her amazing run continued in Cincinnati, defeating Coco Vandeweghe in a rematch of the Stanford final before thrashing Daria Kasatkina in 50 minutes. However, her winning streak came to a sudden halt in the hands of Muguruza, failing to convert three match points in that tight encounter.
The incredible story of Keys was capped off in some style, with the American ousting three seeded opponents and stormed to her debut Grand Slam final at the US Open. She lost just two sets en route to the final but the pressure affected her greatly as she eventually fell to compatriot Sloane Stephens in straight sets.
Many thought that Keys would be able to continue her good run and carry the momentum into the Asian Swing, but her unfortunate wrist injury kicked in once more during her loss to Varvara Lepchenko in the opening round of the Wuhan Open. Keys was then forced to withdraw from the China Open and the BGL Luxembourg Open before finally announcing her withdrawal from Zhuhai as well.
Keys would have been the sixth seed (with the withdrawals of Kuznetsova and Konta) despite playing just a mere 11 tournaments throughout the year. Nonetheless, her decision to withdraw could be a blessing in disguise as she would have more time to recover and prepare for the 2018 season.