Madison Keys, a player that has potential to claim the No. 1 ranking at some point in her career, has definitely gone through a tough season. She has had wrist problems over the long term and those problems have seen her crash in the rankings. In 2016, she appeared to be on top of the world after making the Rome final. However, so far this season she has missed the Australian Open, among other events, and she was not a factor at Wimbledon 2017. Now Madison Keys is entering an important time of her season, the North American summer hard court season, and yet she does not have any significant momentum.

Toronto next important event

Keys is American and this is a big time of the year for American tennis players. The next big event coming up, the 2017 Rogers Cup, is not based out of America, however it will be in Toronto this year (it toggles between Montreal and Toronto). That puts the tournament in the Eastern Time Zone and that's important to note. Unlike so many other events that have been played in Europe recently, tennis in Toronto will actually be played when Americans aren't sleeping. That means that American and Canadian tennis players will get some primetime coverage in their home countries.

After Toronto, there's WTA Cincinnati among other events. Lastly, near the end of the summer, there is the 2017 US Open.

After that the tour mainly shifts to Asian-based tournaments. Keys has already made a big name for herself on tour, but keeping her name fresh in the minds of Americans is a different matter. The upcoming events in North America are pivotal for this player, though they seem like an afterthought at the moment.

Ranking points also important

That Keys is approaching a big time of her WTA season in terms of re-establishing herself with her home country's tennis fans is clear. However, the upcoming events are important for other reasons. Keys did well last season at the Premier 5 event in Montreal, making that tournament's final before losing to Simona Halep.

Keys also made the fourth round at the US Open before losing to Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki. The American has ranking points to defend if she wants to stay ranked in the top 20. If things don't go well soon, it's plausible enough that Keys might find herself out of the top 25 before the end of the summer. With some points to defend at Wuhan, Beijing, and Linz before the end of the year, Keys might end up sliding down further in the months ahead.

In looking at all that's gone on over the last several months, including post-surgeries, the problem with Keys' wrist has to be deemed serious. Since debuting in her 2017 season back at Indian Wells, the highest-ranked player that Keys has beaten is 52nd-ranked Naomi Osaka.

Before the wrist problems, Keys was a top-ten player. After the wrist problems, which have reportedly included a second surgery, she can't beat anyone close to that level. At Wimbledon and the French Open, the American lost to two players, one ranked 86th in the world and one ranked 290th.

It will take a lot to see Keys fall to 290th herself, however she might be heading toward a ranking well outside of the top 50 before season's end. Given her talent, that can only be attributed to the effects of her wrist surgeries (not one, but two) as opposed to an inexplicable slump.