Besides Serena Williams and her older sister Venus, the American Tennis is lacking a star in women's tennis. Over the past couple of years, Madison Keys has been that particular player who seemed to be able in meeting those high expectations. Last season seemed to confirm that, but then a shoulder injury put her on the sideline for several months. And as always, the comeback road is never easy, especially after a long-lasting recovery. The 22-year-old American ranked 11th in the world has lost her first match on clay to Shelby Rogers at a Premier event held in Charleston.

Keys was unable to sustain an elevated pace

Madison Keys (11 WTA) and Shelby Rogers (52 WTA), both skillful players, had their very first encounter on a WTA tournament. Being a top seed in Charleston, Keys received a bye for the first round session while Rogers had her fair amount of warm-up in the opening stages in facing Veronica Cepede Royg (117 WTA) from Paraguay. Shelby Rogers needed three sets to get past the 25-year-old South American player. The opening set was pretty much in the balance wth both Americans struggling on their service game. Once she settled on the green clay court, Keys took the initiative and put away the set taking advantage of the second set point she had. But that was all for Keys, who saw her game crashing down in the next two sets.

Shelby Rogers, 24, won the next 2 acts with the same score 6-1 6-1. Thus, the home crowd favorite is in the 3rd round for the first time at this event while for Madison Keys the last year's top form seems to be miles away.

Last season was solid for Keys

Back in 2016, despite not doing that much damage, Keys went on a constant upward trajectory.

A player who relies entirely on her ground strokes must accept the errors as a natural part of the game. In 2016, her unforced errors ratio significantly shrank propelling her into the top 10. As a sum of her results throughout the regular season, Keys made her first ever run in Singapore at the WTA Finals. The best ranking status came out after the Australian Open back in January when she was the 9th in the women's singles ranking.