It's hard to not be proud watching Madison Keys improve with every match she plays. She has gone further in this Australian than in any other Major in her career. Not bad for a kid who used to take lessons at the Bettendorf Life Fitness Center.

At 19, Keys is poised to take the helm of U.S. women's tennis from the long-standing reign of Williams'. First, tonight against Venus Williams, a tough but declining opponent, who has a great deal of respect for Keys. Serena would be next if all goes according to plan. With her new coach Lindsey Davenport, you can see Madison has increased her upper body strength, and endurance to play deep into these taxing Majors.

I hope she has the mental toughness as well. That seems to be the only question mark as I watch her dispense with opponent after opponent. Go get 'em kid.

You can see Keys vs. Williams tonight (Jan. 27th) at 6 p.m. CT on the Tennis Channel.