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Madison Keys - second round

Thursday 27 June 2013

Madison Keys gives her press conference after her 6-4, 6-2 victory over Mona Barthel.

Q.  So you're a grass court specialist now?

MADISON KEYS:  I wouldn't go that far.  But I definitely like the surface.


Q.  Very big serving day, in the clutch, when you needed to.

MADISON KEYS:  Yeah, I a couple games got a little bit close, but was able to pull out a serve or two to get me back in the game.

I mean, she's also a great server.  It was definitely who could break I think kind of determined who won the match.


Q.  You said that you liked the surface.  What is it about the surface that you like so much?

MADISON KEYS:  I just like how big serves and big forehands are rewarded.  You know, I think it's just different than other surfaces.  For me, I feel like I can come to the net a little bit more comfortably than on other surfaces.


Q.  So the grass hasn't been an issue with you slipping or anything like that?

MADISON KEYS:  I mean, it's been a little bit slippery but nothing out of the ordinary.


Q.  Going back to your serve, do you remember learning how to serve?  Do you remember being taught how to serve?  What do you recall of that?

MADISON KEYS:  All I remember is when I first started serving, I had horrible technique.  It was just an awful grip.  It was not very good.  Kind of the pancake serve (smiling).

You know, just had to work really hard on getting the right technique and the right grip and all that.  Just hit lots and lots of serves.


Q.  Did you enjoy it when you first started learning how to serve or did you not like serving?

MADISON KEYS:  I think I enjoyed like the first half of the basket, and then like the other hundred balls that were left in there, I didn't like it so much.


Q.  Who taught you the high ball toss?

MADISON KEYS:  I'm not sure, honestly.  I just feel like I've been doing that for a long time.


Q.  You haven't been to a lot of Wimbledons.  What did you think of yesterday, and how much of it did you watch?

MADISON KEYS:  I just thought it was very bizarre.  It was not a normal day.  I mean, it was really just shocking all over.


Q.  What shocked you the most about it?

MADISON KEYS:  Everyone pulling out.  Then big upset after upset.  Just not a normal second‑round day.


Q.  Glad you weren't playing yesterday?

MADISON KEYS:  I'm very happy I wasn't playing yesterday (smiling).


Q.  Do you think upsets are contagious?

MADISON KEYS:  I think they are a little bit.  Someone sees, Oh, well, she just beat her, maybe I can beat her, too.  I definitely think you can feed off of our people's upsets.


Q.  A lot of American kids take off for Europe when they're young.  You've done Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, now here.  What has been the most fun part of your European trip?

MADISON KEYS:  This time being in Europe, I've really tried to at least one day of the trip go out and sightsee, see each city.  So that's been really fun and interesting, especially Rome and Paris.

The downside is that I've been here for a very long time.  You know, just obviously very excited to get home.


Q.  What sight did you find most interesting when you went out?

MADISON KEYS:  We went inside the Coliseum in Rome and I thought it was just absolutely incredible.


Q.  Why do you think it is that now seems to be the coming‑out party of the next generation of American teenagers?

MADISON KEYS:  I don't really know why it's now.  I just think, you know, everyone's just been working really hard.  It just seems to be clicking right now.


Q.  Do you guys encourage each other over here?

MADISON KEYS:  Yeah, we do.  We all cheer each other on and all hope for the best.


Q.  You mentioned upsets before.  It might be in the next round that you face Radwanska.  Can you describe what sort of an opportunity that would be.

MADISON KEYS:  It will be a great opportunity.  Always look forward to those kind of matches.  Just going to prepare and do my best for it.


Q.  What do you know of her as a player and how would you describe your respective styles?

MADISON KEYS:  I played her before.  I know she's a great player, great athlete.  She makes a lot of balls.  I think I'm going to have to focus on my game, to my best, in order to see what happens.


Q.  What do you like about her game the most?

MADISON KEYS:  I think she anticipates really well.


Q.  You have a pretty big serve when it's going well.  Do you ever think following it to the net?  Is that something you don't feel comfortable doing at this point?

MADISON KEYS:  I think about it, and then I get up to the line and I hit it.  I'm like, No, I'll stay at the baseline instead of going up to the net (smiling).

You know, I really want to work on it more.  Haven't really ever practiced it.  I don't think I've ever served and volleyed in a singles match.


Q.  Ever?

MADISON KEYS:  Ever.  Definitely going to try to work on it.


Q.  How much do you do it in doubles?

MADISON KEYS:  Maybe like half the time in doubles.


Q.  But not even as a surprise tactic is it something you're comfortable doing?

MADISON KEYS:  No (smiling).


Q.  Jimmy Connors just wrote a book where he spoke a lot about growing up in Illinois.  You were born in Rock Island.  Can you tell us about it.

MADISON KEYS:  Yeah, I lived in Illinois until I was 10.  I loved Rock Island.  Still go home.  Still consider it home for me.  We have amazing ice cream.  It's probably the best part about it.

But it's also a very small town.  Everyone knows everyone.  Very small community.


Q.  On the river?  What's the 'island' bit?

MADISON KEYS:  It's right on the river.  It's directly across from Iowa.  In fact, I went to school in Iowa, it was that close.  It's part of the Quad Cities.  It's two cities in Illinois and two cities in Iowa.


Q.  Do you remember when you played Roehampton juniors and was that the first time you actually hit on grass?  2011 you played Wimbledon juniors?

MADISON KEYS:  Right.  I played Roehampton.  The week before I did the Maureen Connolly Cup in Eastbourne.


Q.  What was that like hitting on grass for the first time?

MADISON KEYS:  I think the first time I hit I just completely wiped out.  It was different.  It's just a completely different surface than anything you're ever really expecting.

But I actually really liked it, which was kind of surprising.


Q.  So footing, watching you today, seems like the power is there, but you're still at times struggling with the movement a little bit?

MADISON KEYS:  Yeah, especially trying to change direction.  It's really hard to just completely stop, especially if they go behind you.  Just have to keep working on it.


Q.  Did you fall down today?

MADISON KEYS:  I did not fall down today.


Q.  Is there a skill to that?  Are you surprised to see some of these players falling down several times in a match?

MADISON KEYS:  I don't know if 'surprised' is the right word.  I think everyone is going to fall.  It happens, especially on this surface.

But yesterday it was kind of surprising to see how many people were just going down.


Q.  A little bit more about your early years.  Did you first start to play on public or club courts?  Were you taught by lawyers?

MADISON KEYS:  When I first started, my parents just fed me balls in our driveway.  We have one tennis club in all of the Quad Cities.  That's where I ended up and, you know, did a couple summer camps and then eventually did summer camps in Florida.


Q.  What is the club?

MADISON KEYS:  Just the local high schools and colleges that had summer clinics going.  Then it's just the Quad City Tennis Club.


Q.  What does Serena Williams' example mean to you?

MADISON KEYS:  I think she's amazing.  It's amazing how she's just, you know, completely dominating.  Hopefully one day it would be great to be able to be like her.


Q.  In terms of her game, why she dominates, what impresses you the most?

MADISON KEYS:  I like how she continues to go for her shots.  She always goes for it.  She always just plays her game.


Q.  What about the mental side?  What have you learned from her example?

MADISON KEYS:  I think she's an extremely confident person, and I also think she fights very, very hard, which, you know, I think everyone tries to emulate.


Q.  Do you remember watching any Williams sisters finals when you were younger from Wimbledon?

MADISON KEYS:  I don't remember watching them when I was younger.  But I definitely watched them as I've gotten older, just seen the replays and all that.  I'm just very happy I don't have a sister who plays tennis (laughter).


Q.  Do you think you've learned some things about how not to get ahead of yourself over the last year or so?  How do you feel you'll do here with that?

MADISON KEYS:  I mean, I hope that I can just, you know, learn from my mistakes, you know, just try to do better each time.


Q.  One of the themes of USTA Player Development, is that you have to take each step at a time.  What does that mean to you, that you can't skip a step?

MADISON KEYS:  I think it's working on your fitness and working on your game, not getting ahead of yourself and trying to play too many tournaments.  Then I think you can also use it in matches and just play one point at a same time, not think about the finish line, just think about what's in front of you.


Q.  You're the third teenager into the third round.  Looking back at juniors, are those names that surprise you seeing the next teen generation or...

MADISON KEYS:  I mean, it's kind of surprising.  I know Laura did well.  I know Genie has done well.  But, I mean, they never really like dominated the juniors or anything like that.

In a way, it's kind of surprising.  Then at the same time I think you look back and you see the ones that were No. 1 in juniors are not always the ones that make it into the pros.


Q.  Do you have a hero in sports?

MADISON KEYS:  I would say Michael Jordan, but that's mostly because we share birthdays.


Q.  Back to the Radwanska match.  Did she totally frustrate you?

MADISON KEYS:  Yes, that was just a frustrating day.  I think in the second set I was just happy to not get bageled.  Definitely going to try to do better this time.


Q.  She seemed to have a response to every single thing you did?

MADISON KEYS:  Yeah, she moved very, very well.  It was my first time playing her.  I don't think I was completely expecting that.

I think in a way her getting to every ball just makes you overdo everything.


Q.  Is there a particular moment or point that stands out from that match for you?

MADISON KEYS:  Not really.  It was over pretty quickly.  I don't really remember most of it.


Q.  How much of it being over quickly was the mental side of having to play her?

MADISON KEYS:  Uhm, I don't know if it was that.  I think I just came in and I was overly nervous.  Then I was just trying to do too much and I wasn't really focusing on my game.


Q.  Is there a point where you started feeling like you belong out on the tour?

MADISON KEYS:  Uhm, I'm feeling more and more comfortable.  I think it comes with experience, just playing a lot of tournaments.  So I'm definitely feeling more and more comfortable.

I feel like, you know, I definitely belong on the tour now.


Q.  Your parents are not here?

MADISON KEYS:  No, my parents are not here.


Q.  At what point would they come here?

MADISON KEYS:  I think if I got to the second week, I'd probably call my mom and tell her that she's coming.  But we'll see.


Q.  What are your expectations?  Understanding you're enjoying this process, you have a tough opponent...

MADISON KEYS:  I'm going in thinking I want to do my best and I want to be happy with how I played when I come off the court.  That's really the only thing that matters.


Q.  The circuit can be a tough place.  Has any older player reached out to you or given you any advice in any way?

MADISON KEYS:  I mean, I know whenever I'm in the locker room and I see Serena, she'll talk to me.  You know, I see Rennae Stubbs occasionally, Lisa Raymond.  Everyone's pretty willing, you know, to help younger players.  It's been a good experience.


Q.  What has Serena said to you?

MADISON KEYS:  We mostly don't talk about tennis, honestly.


Q.  Non‑tennis.

MADISON KEYS:  The other day we talked about her nails, so...


Q.  Does she have good advice?

MADISON KEYS:  If you've seen her nails, they're very cool this tournament.  I actually kind of want to learn how to do it.

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