Madison Keys 24-01-18 interview

  • Def. by Kerber 6-1 6-2 

Q. It's a process, certainly, these big matches. What do you think happened out there today? Do you feel you were able to express some of your best tennis? What was going on?
MADISON KEYS: No, I don't. I think she played really well. I felt like I was trying different things but I wasn't playing very consistent.

I think in the first set I played really passive, and because of that I feel like I wasn't moving as well, wasn't accelerating.

So I wasn't very happy with how I played today, but still, I was fighting and trying to stay in the match. Sometimes you just don't play very well out there.

Q. How much of it do you think is the challenge Angie presents to you with the matchup, and how much of it is your own mental process inside yourself?
MADISON KEYS: I think it's definitely both. She obviously is amazing at getting lots of balls back and makes you feel like you have to go for bigger shots than you would against other players, because, you know, she's going to get two, three more balls.

For me, it's trying to find the balance of playing consistent but being aggressive and still trying to take time away and not kind of letting her dictate my game.

Q. Can you know why you kind of had that passivity now, or do you need a few days to kind of reflect back on it?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was just me trying to be consistent, and I just went very far the other direction instead of finding a middle ground of aggressive and consistent. So I think I just was trying to make the ball, make the ball, and that's not my game.

I think I was having a difficult time finding a rhythm in that and then I wasn't moving, so then when I tried to be more aggressive, I just felt like things weren't 100% today.

Q. She's obviously one of the best counter-punchers out there. What makes her different, if at all, from the Haleps, Radwanskas, Wozniackis, that elite set of players that play that style of game?
MADISON KEYS: I think she's really good at also being aggressive. She takes time away, especially with her forehand down the line.

So what might be considered a "safe ball" against some people isn't, because you know you're going to be on the run. And she will come forward, and she just does a really good job of balancing getting every ball back but also putting you in a bad position.

Q. She's often said that she wants to get more aggressive. Looks like this year she's actually really cracked it. Have you seen a change in her certainly since 2016 when she had a breakthrough here to this year and taking into account last year and her wobbles?
MADISON KEYS: I think she definitely played one of the more aggressive, probably more aggressive than any other time that we have played each other.

I mean, she was coming forward. She was hitting winners. I really didn't have an answer for anything today.

Q. An 11:00 a.m. start. A low-key feel to the atmosphere. Did that play any part? You were more intense certainly in the second set.
MADISON KEYS: I don't think any quarterfinal of a slam has a low-key feel for players (smiling). I definitely didn't feel that way.

I just think my mindset dictated how I was moving, and it wasn't what I wanted.

Q. We spoke with Lindsay the other day and she spoke glowingly of you. She says there is a confidence you're on the right path and that it is going to happen for you. Are you feeling that?
MADISON KEYS: I feel that. I think how I played all of the other matches definitely shows that, and I'm not going to walk away from this tournament and think it was terrible because I had one bad match.

I definitely think I have taken a lot of steps in the right direction and feel good about my game and feel like I'm thinking a lot clearer out there. I think it's just going to take a little bit of time.

Q. What makes the Australian Open unique? How does it differ from the other Grand Slams?
MADISON KEYS: I think it's always fun, and I think everyone is always really excited about it just because we have all been in offseason and it's first matches back.

So I think we're all just really excited to come here, but also, the fans are so invested in all of the matches. I think more than anything it's just the atmosphere is a little bit different being so close to the city.

Q. You had such a wonderful moment in your career last summer when you beat CoCo to win the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Now Stanford has said that the tournament will not be coming back to the university. I don't know whether you have heard that, but do you have any thoughts about that? Is that disappointing to you? Can you talk about that?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, it's pretty cool I was the last person to win at Stanford (smiling). I'm okay with that.

From what I have heard and read, Stanford didn't want the tournament there anymore, so we'll go play it somewhere else.

Q. Will you come?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I'm still going to go play it. I don't really care what court it's played at.

Q. Where do you go from here? I know you said the other day you don't really like vacations. Will you take a few days off? What's your upcoming schedule?
MADISON KEYS: I'm going to take a couple of days off and then get ready for Doha and Dubai.

Q. It took Lindsay a while to get her big match feel. Took her a few years to get herself where she wanted to be. The fact that she's with you in your corner and had that experience, how much do you talk about that? Is that part of your dialogue, and do you think it could help to have that experience she had?
MADISON KEYS: It's very much a part of our dialogue. I think she has helped me in a lot of big moments and a lot of big matches. She knows what to say in those moments to calm me down or get me going.

I think I have handled a lot of the bigger situations better, and I just need to keep working on that so that I can handle them consistently better.

Q. Do you feel if they had the on-court coaching here that she might have been able to help you better?
MADISON KEYS: No, I don't think so (smiling).

Q. What's your thinking on Fed Cup? There is one spot left. Serena and Venus are both supposed to play in North Carolina. Big news. Would you be interested in playing if you're asked to play?
MADISON KEYS: I have already talked to Kathy about it. She has a great lineup already and asked me to commit to the second Fed Cup, which I have. I'm just going to go and get ready for Doha and Dubai and cheer on the girls from the comfort of my couch.

Q. Just your thoughts on Serena coming back for Fed Cup. What does that do for women's tennis and what are your thoughts about that?
MADISON KEYS: I think it's always great to have Serena around and playing. She's, you know, the best female tennis player ever, arguably the best tennis player ever. So to have her playing in the sport is always good. Also to have her playing Fed Cup, it's always fun to be on a team with Serena. I'm very much looking forward to having her back on the tour.

Q. We have seen you get, after tough defeats, pretty emotional.
MADISON KEYS: I'm evolving, guys (smiling). I'm growing.

Q. How are you evolving?
MADISON KEYS: I think I'm handling myself pretty well right now. We'll just go with that for today.