Madison Keys Press Conference
by ATP Staff|
March 21, 2012
M. KEYS/M. Rybarikova
6 7, 6 2, 6 1
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. So the first set you lose in a tiebreaker. What happened in that tiebreaker? You rebounded quite nicely. What was the difference in the second and third set?
MADISON KEYS: Um, I feel like in the first set I think we both served really well. I don't think we broke each other until, like, 5 All or something.
So, you know, I really felt like I was close and I was in it. I just had to kind of, on return games, just kinda focus a little bit more on making my returns, having good, longer rallies.
Once I kinda got into that I felt like I started to serve better and I just feel like everything started to work.
Q. Is this your first time here?
MADISON KEYS: I played last year, and I lost to Patty Schnyder last year first round.
Q. You get in for qualifying. Obviously that's a good thing, but does it help establish a rhythm once you get in, or is it more tiring?
MADISON KEYS: Um, I think it's a little bit of both. I mean, I won both my qualifying matches in three sets. But even though, you know, it's a little bit more tiring, you also get more matches under your belt. You get to play on the courts more than people who just play main draw.
It really helped me just because I was able to get some matches here.
Q. This being home, so to speak, what's it like playing in South Florida? Does it help you at all having the crowd behind you?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I mean, it definitely helps to have the crowd behind you.
My whole family was able to come watch. So it's just really nice to be so close to home for a tournament.
Q. Whole family, being...
MADISON KEYS: I have two younger sisters who are here, and then both my parents were able to come.
Q. Your goal for this tournament? How far do you think you can go?
MADISON KEYS: You know, I'm really not, you know, have a specific goal for how far I can get. I really just want to be able to play well, be happy with how I play, no matter what, win or lose.
Q. What are the challenges regarding the age restriction rules? Does that make it harder to keep momentum up? I know you did well at the US Open and Indian Wells. What are the challenges for you?
MADISON KEYS: Obviously at 17, I think I can only play 17 tournaments until I turn 18. It's obviously a huge thing.
I mean, I've already played three or four tournaments this year, so I have like twelve left until the end of the year.
So it's more of a scheduling thing. You have to be really smart when you play tournaments and just do the best in each tournament, because it really matters.
The pre quallies at Indian Wells was great because it didn't count as a tournament, but I was able to get five matches in. So I'm kind of looking for things like that just to be able to get matches.
Q. Will you play like one of the big wildcard playoffs for the US Open? You might get in directly.
MADISON KEYS: I mean, if I can, then great. It's another three matches potentially that I can play. I'm really just trying to get lots of matches in and be able to kind of understand my game a little bit better.
Q. I know that you know Sloane Stephens pretty well. Talk about your relationship with her and what she's like.
MADISON KEYS: We have actually been hitting together a lot lately. I was sitting in the locker room staring at the scoreboard the whole time she was playing. It's great, especially when you can have other U.S. girls to cheer you on. Melanie Oudin is here.
It's great because even though we're kind of each other's competition, at the same time we're there to help each other and try to pump each other up.
Q. Do you consider yourself the generation that can bring American women's tennis back? It's obviously on a downslide.
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I hope so.
Q. How important is that to you?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, it's really I think there is a great group of U.S. girls coming up right now. I think that we've really pushed each other, and I think if we keep going, we can do some great things.
I mean, I don't want to say that we're it, but, you know, I think if we just keep working hard and doing what we're doing, then we have a good chance at being, you know, maybe the next generation.
Q. How has your game changed from when you first started? I guess when you were 14 you turned pro.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah.
Q. How has your game changed and how have you changed as a person?
MADISON KEYS: Um, I think mostly my game has kind of matured a little bit. I think when I was 14, I mean, even until I was like 16, you know, in bad positions I'd try to go for the winner. I'd try I wasn't really staying in points.
I think I have been working on staying in points longer, not going for the winners. My returns have gotten a lot better.
And also just my serving. I've been trying I've been changing that a little bit and it's been working for me so far.
Q. You still take courses online?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah.
Q. Have you ever considered going to college? Did that ever go through your mind?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I've always wanted a college degree, and I still intend on getting one.
I've just never it's never really been a big thing for me to play college tennis, so going pro at 14 was kind of just a no brainer.
Q. Also, the story I've read it everywhere when you were four years old walking through your parents' bedroom. Am I right?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah.
Q. What did her dress look like?
MADISON KEYS: I have no idea, honestly. I have no idea what it looked like. I think it was Wimbledon. So, I mean, it was obviously a white dress of some sort. I guess at four years old I thought it was like the coolest thing ever.
Q. And your mother or your father told you?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was my mom. I think she told me if I played tennis she'd buy me a tennis outfit. I think probably a week later I was still interested in it.
So they went to some store and bought me one of the little prepackaged racquets with balls and I started playing.
Q. What is it like for you to have a chance to play these players here near top 50, have a chance testing yourself. You showed at the US Open and here your ability to keep up with them.
MADISON KEYS: I mean, it's a great opportunity. Obviously they're there for a reason. Being able to have the opportunity, come out and play against them, and trying to raise my level to be able to play against them is great.
Q. You talk about practicing with Sloane. Do you try to practice with as many pros as you can, getting exposed to those high level players outside of these tournaments?
MADISON KEYS: Definitely. Whenever I have the chance to hit with someone, I take it, just to be able to hit with other people, obviously. It's always good.
Q. When you don't have anyone to hit with, who do you hit with?
MADISON KEYS: When I don't have anyone to hit with, I'll hit with my coach.
Q. Are you still playing junior tournaments? Are you mixing? You did last year, right?
MADISON KEYS: Last year I did. I'm trying not to this year. I mean, if I need matches and I'm out of tournaments or something, I'll probably try to play one.
Q. What is the part of your game that you're most confident about and what is part of your game that you'd really like to improve the most?
MADISON KEYS: You know, I'm really comfortable with my serve right now. I think that it's gotten better. I'm just more confident in it. And, I mean, overall I just kinda want to get everything better. I definitely want to be able to start coming to the net more often.
Q. Life, do you feel like a regular teenager or do you feel like a little bit older? What do you do for fun around Boca?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, Boca, not much to do. (Smiling.)
I mean, when I'm in Boca I think I go and see a movie at least every week. I have two younger sisters that live with me, so I hang out with them a lot. You know, go to the mall with my friends. Just that's pretty much it.
Q. What was your last movie?
MADISON KEYS: What did I last go see? It's been a while since I've been traveling so much. I'm not sure what the last one was, but I really want to go see The Hunger Games.
Q. Who is your favorite women's player? Who do you look up to?
MADISON KEYS: I really like Kim Clijsters. I like how she plays, and I just think she's I think it's amazing how she's been able to come back, and it seems like she really loves the game.
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