Devastated Keys seeks 'magic pill'

Madison Keys (AFP)
Madison Keys (AFP)

Melbourne - A devastated Madison Keys said there weren't words to describe her disappointment after a recurring leg injury brought a tearful and painful end to her Australian Open adventure.

Keys was a set up against Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai and cruising towards her second Grand Slam semi-final when the injury struck, and left her limping around the court in tears.

The American number three, who bravely refused to retire and staggered around until Zhang completed her 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win, said she needed a "magic pill" to cure an injury which is badly hampering her career.

Asked if she had any thoughts on how to fix the problem, she said: "Trying. If you have a magic pill, let me know."

She added that she refused to pull out of the match late on Monday because, "One, I hate retiring; two, you don't want to do that to someone who is trying to get in the quarter-finals."

It's not the first time the left thigh injury, which she believed was a torn adductor, has ended a Grand Slam campaign for Keys who retired from her 2014 Wimbledon third round clash with a similar problem.

"I think on some shots I kind of just closed my eyes and kind of just slapped the ball. Not fully impressed with myself. Yeah, but, I mean, you know, yay me for staying out there," she joked grimly.

The 20-year-old, who has switched coaches from American great Lindsay Davenport to Jesse Levine, is the next great hope for her country as she is behind only the veteran Williams sisters at world number 17.

But she was clearly shaken by her latest setback. Asked to describe her disappointment, she said: "I don't think there is a word for it."

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