All the information about her place them in here!
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Welcome back to grass.
MADISON KEYS: Thanks (smiling).
Q. Very nice win obviously today. Second top‑10 win of your career. A pretty non‑drama one, I think. What are your thoughts about that match?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, it was pretty, just really solid, wasn't playing out of my mind or anything like that. But, yeah, I think after the first couple of games I served really well and I was returning pretty well. I felt like I was just taking time away really well.
Q. She was getting really angry. Do you kind of pay attention to that when they get mad? Are you thinking, yeah, keep getting mad? Or do you just focus on yourself?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously you can't completely ignore them. You hear what's going on on the other side, but you're mostly focused on yourself, and, you know, keeping with it.
But at the same time it's kind of ‑‑it kind of keeps you going and everything, knowing you're getting to them and they're kind of starting to lose it.
Q. You had a tough match, a very close match against Sara Errani in Paris who could be seen as a similar player as Jankovic, plays a similar sort of game. What made the difference between that match and this match? The surface? Was it that you were having a good day?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, no, grass helps a little bit. Obviously grass is a faster surface and it's one that I feel a little bit more comfortable on.
I had a lot of opportunities against Errani, and, you know, it was definitely a match that I'm trying to build off of and keep playing like that against players like that.
So it was just really, you know, having a game plan and going in and executing it well.
Q. I remember seeing you train with John Evert when you were smaller. When did you first get on a grass court? They don't have many in America. When did you first get on a grass court?
MADISON KEYS: Probably three years ago, I think.
Q. And you liked it instantly, did you? Or did you take time to adjust?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, the first time it was a little odd and just it being so different and never having played on it, but after that, I just always loved playing on grass.
Q. What do you tell yourself when you transition from clay and you step on grass for the first time for practicing? Technically or tactically what changes in your mind?
MADISON KEYS: You're definitely trying to take time away more on grass. You know, you're not going to hit as much spin. You're going to try to hit through the court a lot more.
Just really having short preparation and really accelerating and just kind of always trying to watch the ball, because if you get behind in a point you're pretty much done.
Q. You're obviously still a very young player. Do you still feel like a newcomer on the tour or do you feel like you've started to find your feet and it's what you're used to now?
MADISON KEYS: I'm getting more and more used to it, but it's still only my second full year on the tour. There is definitely some ups and some downs, and it's to be expected.
But definitely getting more and more comfortable and feeling like I'm not as new on the tour.
Q. A lot of your generation are looking good. Do you feel like there's a new wave in the women's game? Are you friends with your sort of rivals, teenagers at that sort of age?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I mean, I think there is a big group of girls that are just really doing well. Obviously you can see from the French Open there was a lot of upsets from kind of the new generation and all of that.
Yeah, I mean, we do really get along, for the most part. I don't really know of anyone who has an issue with anyone else.
I mean, it's nice. It's just‑‑ you know, we're slowly kind of making our own way on the tour.
Q. A lot of times it seems like players find their second year on the tour harder than the first year because the first year is new and everything that you achieve is exciting and it's never happened before. Are you finding it more difficult this year now that you have things to defend?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I mean, they always say the sophomore year is the hardest year of anything, and there has definitely been some really down moments so far.
But then, at the same time, I have to kind of look and see that I have gotten so much better and I have improved on a lot of things. That's still really exciting.
You know, I just want to keep improving, so kind of just have to not think about the results and defending and things like that and just really think about am I getting better and will this help me in my career in the long run.
Q. Are there any particular moments you can point to that have been, you know, tough ones for you this year?
MADISON KEYS: Last week wasn't very fun (smiling). That kind of sucked.
I mean, obviously there has just been a couple of matches so far this year, like losing second round in Australia, losing to Errani at the French, and then last week.
So, yeah, no, there's definitely days where they're not very fun.
Q. What helps you to keep perspective when you're going through those, when you're, you know, back in the locker room after a tough match?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, you just have to remember there is another one next week. Last week I didn't play very well, and I thought it was, you know, a really, really bad match.
Then this week I go out and I play like I did today. Just always have to kind of keep it in perspective and know that you have another one next week.
Q. Do you like England?
MADISON KEYS: Yes, I do.
Q. Where would it rank?
MADISON KEYS: See, people always ask that and I always tell them I don't get to get out much, so it's really, you know, my hotel, the tennis courts, dinner, and then that's all I get to see.
But no, it's definitely nice coming from a long trip where I didn't understand anything that was being said around me.
Q. Have you tried any English food?
MADISON KEYS: I tried fish and chips. Big fan. Not proper English fish and chips.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah.
Q. How late did you stay up last night? Did you watch the soccer game at all?
MADISON KEYS: I was watching. I watched almost the whole first half. My heart broke a little bit for Jozy. That had to hurt. Then what's‑his‑face got kicked in the nose. That wasn't very good. I was a little worried for a little bit.
Once I knew he was back on the field and Ghana wasn't taking out all of our top players, I felt pretty confident.
Q. You watched to the end or you went to bed?
MADISON KEYS: No, no, I went to bed. I wouldn't have been able to stay awake today.
Q. Is that the first football game you have watched?
MADISON KEYS: This week is the first time I have watched a full football game, and I still am not a huge fan, but I'm getting more and more into it as the World Cup goes on.
Q. It's been interesting seeing a lot of Americans who don't really watch football watching it. Some people are, That's dumb. Are you one of those people?
MADISON KEYS: There is a couple of times where I just don't understand what's going on. I'm just like, Wait, why does he have a free kick? Why is the other guy rolling on the ground? No one touched him. (Laughter.) Things like that.
Q. What's your favorite sport besides tennis?
MADISON KEYS: I like American football.
Q. What's more violent, American football or European football?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I feel like American football is, but the dramatics are definitely higher in European football.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I bet you were happy to get that out of the way.
MADISON KEYS: Yes. You know, I lost that return game, and I could see the clouds coming. I was like, Okay, focus, get this game done.
Yeah, just really happy I was able to get it done before the rain.
Q. Obviously you're facing Heather next. You're going to have a crowd of people not wanting you to win. How are you going to approach this game?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, you're used to it. Obviously you have been in situations where the crowd is against you.
Even when I was walking back from here today, someone goes, Hey, good job. I hope you lose tomorrow.
I was like, Thank you. (Laughter.)
Q. Like, I love you too?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah (smiling). Yeah, it's expected. Obviously she's playing really well, so it will be a good match.
Q. At least they are polite about it?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, at least he's honest (smiling).
Q. A semifinal on grass. Where would you rank grass as your favorite surface?
MADISON KEYS: It's like way up here. Everything else is like down here.
Q. Even hard court?
MADISON KEYS: Even hard court, yes.
Q. You have been practicing with Lauren in Nottingham. How hard is it to play against your friend?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, it's always difficult, but at the same time we have done it so much. I mean, this is like the fourth or fifth all‑American matchup so far this European season, so I feel like we're getting quite used to it.
I mean, it's always tough, but, you know, you just have to do it.
Q. How much control do you feel like you have over your game? I mean, obviously you're playing so well here, and then, no offense, but sometimes you have days when...
MADISON KEYS: I suck? Is that what you're trying to say? (Laughter.)
Q. Something like that, but something more tactful I was going for. But do you feel like you understand why that happens? Like you know that there are certain things that you need to do in preparation and you'll play well, and if you don't do them you'll play badly? Or does it feel like...
MADISON KEYS: There are definitely days where I feel like it's just the entire universe is against me and doesn't want me to win.
But I'm getting better, and there is not really as many matches where I walk off the court and think, I have no idea what just happened.
But, yeah, there is definitely still days where I go out and I feel like I can't hit the ball in the stadium. Hopefully that's not tomorrow (smiling). But I'm definitely working on it and trying to get a better hold of my game.
Q. What are your thoughts about playing Heather tomorrow?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, we know each other really well. We played each other last year at Wimbledon. It was a close match. She's obviously been playing very well. I think it will just be a really close match.
Q. Is there a point at which it becomes kind of difficult to focus on being here because you know that sort of everybody else is already at Wimbledon?
MADISON KEYS: Yes and no. I mean, you're definitely thinking, okay, the Wimbledon draw is coming out soon and you're seeing more and more people at Wimbledon getting ready and all of that, but at the same time, you're so focused on what you're doing right now and just, you know, really just trying to get ready for your next match. It's not so much.
Q. Obviously the draw is coming out tomorrow, but you potentially have a final ahead of you on Saturday. Will you pay any attention to the draw or will you forget about it until it's time to look at it?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, no, I definitely won't look at the draw until I'm completely done here and really just preparing for Wimbledon.
Q. And then find out, like, Oh, by the way, you've drawn Serena?
MADISON KEYS: Exactly. That would be great (smiling).
Q. Do you look at draws in general?
MADISON KEYS: I'll look to see who I play and I will occasionally look to see if there are any interesting matchups, but, I mean, we have a new draw every single week. It's kind of luck of the draw every week.
Q. Is there anyone you really want to avoid at Wimbledon?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously Serena, Sharapova, Halep, any of the top four players.
I think everyone in the tournament just looks at the very top of the draw and the very bottom of the draw, and you're like, Okay, if I don't play 1 or 2, now I can somewhat breathe.
Q. But if you were to draw her, would you go in and treat it like any other match, especially being an American?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, it's another match. Obviously if we were to draw Serena, she's an amazing player and she obviously does really well.
Q. But she is vulnerable. That was proven at France.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, everyone‑‑ it's possible to beat everyone on a certain day. So, you know, you just have to go in and try your best and see what happens.
Q. With the carnage of the seeds in France, does that give the young and up‑and‑coming pack hope that actually you can topple the big names?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I mean, I think it was a huge eye‑opener for everyone just kind of there is this new generation coming up and there is a lot of really good girls right now.
You know, no matter who you're drawing in tournaments, there is always an opportunity.
Q. Wozniacki was a bit angry about some calls today. Can you remember the angriest you've ever been on court?
MADISON KEYS: I can remember. I don't think I want to tell you what happened, though. (Laughter.)
Q. You can't leave it there. You're going to have to tell us now.
Q. Have you ever broken a racquet?
MADISON KEYS: On court? Accidently on court.
Q. What about off court?
MADISON KEYS: Maybe.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Congratulations. Good day for you?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. Really, really excited and happy.
Q. How does it feel to be in your first final?
MADISON KEYS: Oh, I'm so excited. You know, I'm just really, really happy and ready to go for tomorrow.
Q. What do you feel about your game today?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think I served well. When I had break points down, it definitely helped me out and got me back in some games.
Then I think I just returned well a couple of games, and that was really the match.
Q. Playing Angelique Kerber tomorrow, what are your thoughts on that match?
MADISON KEYS: She's a great player. We have played before. Obviously she's done really well, and she's constantly fighting.
I feel like she loses the first set almost every round and somehow manages to pull it out. But, yeah, no, it will be a really good match.
Q. You have climbed the rankings very quickly in the last 18 months. Have you surprised yourself how well it's gone for you?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. There has definitely been times when I kind of surprised myself, but then at the same time there is definitely still those not‑so‑great weeks and it kind of helps keep it all in perspective.
Q. Obviously your first final. How nervous do you think you're going to be and how much of an issue are you anticipating having to manage your nerves?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously I'm going to walk on with some nerves, but at the same time I'm just going to go for it, first final, and I'm playing against someone who has won multiple titles already. Really, I have nothing to lose.
Q. Do you feel like the underdog?
MADISON KEYS: For sure, yeah (smiling).
Q. Have you given yourself any time to think about Wimbledon while all of this has been going on?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I have heard some things about it, but I'm mostly just focusing on this week and finishing this week and then moving on to Wimbledon.
Q. Not even looked at the draw?
MADISON KEYS: No.
MADISON KEYS: No (smiling).
Q. Do you know that you hit a 123‑mile‑per‑hour serve in that match?
MADISON KEYS: Did I? Hmm. That's pretty good (smiling).
Q. Is that the fastest serve you have ever hit, I'm guessing?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, that's probably the fastest one.
Q. Were you looking for that to be a strong weapon for you?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I was definitely struggling a little bit at the very beginning, but then I got my timing and, you know, I really started to feel good with it.
Q. Are you comfortable on grass?
MADISON KEYS: Yes, I am.
Q. Have you a background in grass‑court play at home?
MADISON KEYS: No, not really. I first hit on it maybe two‑and‑a‑half years ago, three years ago, and kind of just instantly fell in love with it and have loved playing on it since.
Q. It's your favorite surface?
MADISON KEYS: Yes, it is.
Q. Was the first time you played on grass here in the junior competition?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I think that's right.
Q. Did that go as well as you anticipated this week or better than you thought?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I mean, I don't have many complaints about today. Definitely played pretty well and stayed in my game for the most part.
Yeah, there's obviously a couple of things that I still want to work on and have better for next round, but pretty happy with today.
Q. How much did winning Eastbourne really improve your confidence and kind of put you on a path you wanted to be on?
MADISON KEYS: It was definitely a confidence boost. You know, just playing well for that whole week and just being really solid was definitely a confidence boost.
I feel like I'm going in the right direction and just continuing to work as hard as I can to keep going in that direction.
Q. Your crosscourt forehand seemed to be really strong today. Is that going to be one of your feature things?
MADISON KEYS: I have definitely been working on staying in my cross‑courts a little bit more, so, yeah, I have been just trying to keep working on it.
Definitely it worked for me today.
Q. Do you think that your Eastbourne win at all ‑up until that point, good year; not many big results or anything like that ‑ how much of it did it click for you in terms of confidence after that? Do you feel like a different player out there?
MADISON KEYS: Some days (smiling). There's obviously still the some days where I just kind of think, What the heck am I doing? I should not be playing tennis right now.
No, there's definitely ‑‑I mean, I think that's obviously the first time in a WTA tournament that I have played solid, smart tennis throughout an entire week.
So just, you know, knowing that I can do that and, you know, just continuing to try to do the best that I can and continuing to, you know, not want to jump off a bridge on the days that it's not working, it's definitely, you know, been good for me.
Q. How much time did you take off once you got home? How long did it take to kind of heal up?
MADISON KEYS: Time off? I had I think three days technically where I wasn't doing anything.
Then it was, you know, into rehab and trying to get back on the court.
So I had about two weeks of no tennis and just rehab and trying to, you know, get back in the gym and things like that.
Yeah, so, the three days off went fast, and then the two weeks of no tennis was hard. I was very excited to get back on the court.
Q. So how does one go about duplicating the really good stuff? You know, once you played really well and feel really good about things, can you consciously try and figure out what you did, or is it a matter of just playing and not thinking too much?
MADISON KEYS: I think, for me at least, it's definitely more on the practice court. You know, having solid practices and making the right decisions on the practice court.
Then being in a match, you know, there's much less confusion on what I should be doing because I have been doing it so much in practice. It's, you know, second nature. I'm not overthinking anything.
Q. So now that you're not jumping off a bridge when things aren't going well, have we also learned how to like deal with that and change things around, or is that the next step?
MADISON KEYS: I'm working on it. It's getting better. Still no promises (smiling).
But, no, it's definitely what I have been working on. I mean, some days I'm better at it than other days. I think that's what the big difference is. I think that's definitely part of the next jump, so I'm really focused on it.
Q. You will play Maria next, so thoughts about that match. Are you excited for the challenge? Do you think you can pull it off?
MADISON KEYS: Well, I have already had an e‑mail from Max. He's very happy he's not here this week.
But, you know, obviously she's an amazing player and I have never played her before, so it will be first time.
I'm excited. You know, going in and no pressure. Just have to try to play my best and do my best and hopefully be really happy when I walk off the court (smiling).
Q. Do you watch her a lot?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. Especially this year because, I mean, I feel like she's just been going so deep in tournaments and she's always on TV.
I mean, I think she's very similar to me in a way of how she plays, so I have always liked watching her.
And, you know, no matter what the score is or anything, she still goes for her shots. It's amazing how she can get out of trouble so often.
Q. Obviously there is a focus going into the US Open. Do you sort of sense that at all yourself? Do you think it's any harder on the guys because... (Indiscernible.)
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously you feel, you know, a little bit more attention when you're in the U.S. and it's before the US Open.
But, I mean, it is kind of nice being a girl because there are so many of us right now. There is not one sole focus.
Then obviously we have Venus and Serena who are still doing really well.
Personally, I can't comment on the guys. You'd have to ask them, but I would imagine it's probably ‑‑I think the girls are a little bit happier with the situation right now.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on court conditions here compared to the other hard court tournaments you have played this year? Faster or slower? Doesn't matter?
MADISON KEYS: Personally I thought D.C. was pretty fast. Where were we last week? Montreal?
I think Montreal was a little bit slower but still pretty fast. I think this one is pretty similar to the Open. I mean, it's a different ball, but for the most part I think they are same as US Open courts.
Q. Do you change your preparation based on those perceptions, or they're just higher priorities on the list, how a surface affects your game or doesn't?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, there is a couple of things, you know. Obviously on faster courts a kick serve is not as effective, so you maybe slice some more, things like that.
But for the most part, the game plan stays pretty much the same.
Q. What would be the next jump for you?
MADISON KEYS: I think, you know, it's just being more and more consistent. Again, you know, having a bad day and being able to figure out how to get through it and figure out how to maybe not be playing well but still manage to figure out a way to get through the match.
Q. The word "pressure" can be very generic. Is there a difference in how you feel about the pressure playing in the States versus the pressure playing in the Eastbourne final? Or like the fourth round Wimbledon. Does it feel different?
MADISON KEYS: I would say there is different pressure for me playing in Fed Cup than there is in playing the final of Eastbourne.
You know, playing in Fed Cup you're playing for your country, and playing in Eastbourne it's more you're putting more pressure on yourself.
But as far as playing in the States, I mean, if you really overthink it, I'm sure eventually you'll probably psych yourself out, but you just have to think of it as another tournament.
If it's in the States or if it's in Europe, you just have to think of it as another tournament and go out and do your best.
Q. Is the only thing that feels different when you're in the States is just the fact that things are familiar languages that you hear, American accents everywhere, better court placement? What makes it feel different than a European tournament?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, no matter where you are in the States, it just feels a little bit more like you're at home. When you're in Europe, it's always different. You're not familiar with really anything.
Even going from France to England, we're just like, Yes, it's English. We know what they're saying (laughter).
But then every time I come back from a different country, no matter where I land first, I'm just like, Yes, I'm home.
So there's definitely ‑‑I think American players are definitely more comfortable here just because it's home.
Q. The foreign players basically are forced to learn English, but they also speak multiple languages a lot. Americans just seem to be lacking in that department.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I mean, well, I know Christina McHale speaks Spanish fluently and she also knows some Chinese. So I strive to be like Christina, but it probably won't happen.
I mean, European players, I feel like they all speak like 12 different languages, and I struggle with English sometimes (laughter).
But, I mean, I'd love to learn another language, and, you know, I'm definitely going to one day. But, yeah, I mean, I think it's amazing how ‑‑I mean, you hear Kuznetsova. She speaks Russian, Spanish, English, probably French and Dutch and whatever else.
Q. Did you take any language in school?
MADISON KEYS: I took seven years of Spanish and I can conjugate a verb, but I can't speak it.
Q. Would that be your first choice when you learn a second language? Would it be Spanish?
MADISON KEYS: I think so, but then at the same time I want to learn like Chinese so Christina and I can start speaking Chinese in front of another person and just totally confuse them.
Q. What else is it sort of like with school? (Indiscernible.)
MADISON KEYS: I always really ‑‑well, other than PE, that was my favorite class ‑‑ but I always really liked English. So I have always been really interested in reading and things like that.
So if I did, you know, do something, I definitely, you know, would like to go somewhere with that.
Q. What's the last book you read?
MADISON KEYS: I actually read Li Na's book. It was amazing. So everyone should go out and buy it and read it.
Q. What was the most interesting thing?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, you just get a really, you know, personal insight to her. She's very detailed on how she grew up and what she thinks, and I think it's just ‑‑it really makes you kind of just change how you think about her a little bit.
Q. Could you relate a little bit? She's very self‑critical in that book and talks about how negative she gets on court. A little bit of you there?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I was reading it and I was like, Yeah, she understands.
Yeah, so it's kind of nice to know that other people struggle with it and it's not something that comes naturally to people.
I mean, I love how she talks about her husband. I mean, it's so cute. I mean, you can just relate a lot to her.
Hopefully one day I can become like her and write a book and I can inspire some other really self‑negative person. Yes, I can do it, too.
Q. You said yesterday that you were looking forward to this match because you came up with no pressure having never faced Maria. Talk about today. Did you feel pressure? How did you feel out there?
MADISON KEYS: Well, I mean, definitely don't think I played my best. Especially the first set. That was a bit of a disaster.
But, you know, I think it's definitely improvement from what I have done in the past. You know, after a bad first set I could have gone away, but I kind of figured it out and started playing better.
It's definitely an improvement. But, you know, I didn't really feel much pressure. It was more just trying to figure out my game and get some better timing.
Q. It went well for you in the second set. What were some of the things you were able to figure out and feel good about implementing there?
MADISON KEYS: I think I just kind of ‑‑I started taking time away from her a little more and was definitely kind of moving her around more and being more in charge.
So, yeah, I think that kind of changed it a little bit. Then I also started serving a little bit better.
Q. In the third set, did you back away from that, or did she step up her game?
MADISON KEYS: She definitely stepped up her game. I also think, you know, in big points I got a little tentative. I mean, that showed, you know.
I mean, after I got broken at the very beginning it was really hard to try to break back.
Q. How do you feel that your experience over the last 12 months or so helped you out in a match like today's?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I definitely think I have grown for sure in certain areas like that. Before I could have just completely gone away and lost 1 and 2.
But, you know, I think just being in the situation and kind of being able to stay calm and think clearly really helped me.
Q. Obviously you use on‑court coaching during the WTA Tour, and then when you get to the slams, the US Open, you won't be able to call the coach to help with tactics. Is there any concern whatsoever about that kind of difference?
MADISON KEYS: No. I mean, honestly, if they got rid of on‑court coaching I wouldn't be sitting in a corner crying and not know how to play tennis anymore (laughter).
I mean, we do it at Grand Slams. We manage to win matches without our coaches coming on to court.
Honestly, I use it because it's an option, you know, and it can be helpful.
But, no, I don't think I will have a meltdown or anything.
Q. But you're confident in your ability to think yourself through a match?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I mean, obviously it's great if you're panicking and your coach comes out and it just could just be like, Calm down; this is what you have to do.
But at the same time, at Grand Slams you can't have that, so I think you know going into a match at a Grand Slam you can't have that lifesaver, so you're ‑‑
Q. On your own?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. You know you're on your own.
Q. You obviously won a title not too long ago, but between a year ago and now, what are you most happiest about your game that you have been able to achieve from one year ago?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think there is a lot less up and down. You know, definitely getting more and more consistent. Still need lots of work on it, but I'm getting better.
I'm much more comfortable just being on the tour and, you know, knowing where we're going and how the whole year is going to be.
I think just being more and more comfortable with, you know, not only my game but just what I'm doing.
Q. Are you entered in New Haven?
MADISON KEYS: No.
Q. Are you going to try and play New Haven?
MADISON KEYS: Nope. I'm going back to Boca and training for a couple of days, and then up to US Open.
Q. Your reactions to your performance. Was it better than you'd hoped for? Your assessment of your performance.
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I'm definitely happy with how I played. You know, couldn't really ask for a better way to start a Grand Slam. I was definitely nervous going out there, but was able to work through some of the nerves at the beginning. She started playing better in the second set. But just really happy to be able to kind of hold her off and keep playing so well.
Q. Younger players talk about nerves. What is your tricks of mental gymnastics of getting over the nerves?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think it's just focusing on your game, you know, not really kind of overthinking the moment, being an American playing at the US Open. If you overthink it, you know, you can definitely start getting more and more nervous. So I think for me just really focusing on my game, you know, having my game plan, knowing what I'm going to do helped me a lot today.
Q. We talked to Catherine Bellis today, a 15-year-old. Is it your sense you're part of this wave of new generation of American players that in the next 10 years will be a group of players doing really well?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I definitely think there's a big group of women and men, you know, right now that are slowly doing better and better, kind of making a name for U.S. tennis more and more. I'm really happy and honored to be one of the people that's part of the big group.
Q. Catherine won today. She's 15. What did you know about her before today?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I knew she had won the wild card, after winning Kalamazoo, whatever it's called for girls. Then I saw her up on, you know, the screen and things like that. I knew that she won. Congrats to her. That's a massive win. Was it her first WTA match ever maybe? Yeah. I mean, that's not a bad win. I bet she's very excited. I'm really happy for her.
Q. As someone that started very young yourself, what kind of advice do you have for someone in the spotlight?
MADISON KEYS: I would have to say to embrace it but also not overthink it. You know, you can definitely get very nervous and you can really kind of start overthinking things and expecting a lot of yourself. So I think she just has to go out, have fun and keep playing. She has plenty of years ahead of her.
Q. You look at players playing at 32, 33. Can you see yourself doing this for 15 more years, at a pretty high level?
MADISON KEYS: 15, 16, 17 years, that would put me almost at 40.
Q. Let's say 10, 11, 12.
MADISON KEYS: Okay. I think I could still be playing. Hopefully my body can hang on and all that. I mean, we love what we do or else we wouldn't be here. So I think all of us will be playing until the day that our bodies tell us that we cannot play any longer.
Q. After your match it seemed you related to the fans. They gravitated towards you.
MADISON KEYS: I have been in the seats and I know what it's like to be out there watching, be super excited, stay after a match and want an autograph and things like that. So for me I want to be one of those people that can sign as many autographs as I can, take as many pictures as I can, because they're part of the reason why I'm here. They're the people that stay out there late and they watch my matches and cheer me on. Me taking five minutes out of my day to try to get to everyone, do as much as I can, it's not that hard for me.
Q. Every year it's the same thing, American tennis is dead. As part of this new group, why do you think it is important that you plant the flag and get American tennis where it was 20 years ago?
MADISON KEYS: I think that it's definitely on the upswing. I definitely think we're one of the countries with the most people in the top 100. I think we're one of the only countries with as many people in Grand Slams consecutively. So when people say that American tennis is dead and things like that, you know, you kind of take it a little personal. Someone went as far as to say that Serena Williams is the only American player, male or female, worth talking about or watching or anything like that. So I took that a little personal. But I think Serena's amazing. She's out there, she's winning Grand Slams. She's going for her 18th Grand Slam now. I think you have to kind of put it in perspective that she's one of the greatest of all time. I think a lot of times people expect every American to live up to that standard, and that's not going to happen. You know, there's only so many Serena Williams or Chris Everts or Martina Navratilovas. I definitely think American tennis is getting better and there are more people in the top 100 and competing in Grand Slams. So I think everyone is kind of expecting a lot. But then they're also not giving us full credit. I think everyone is just a little impatient right now because there was definitely a lull for a while where there weren't many people, but I think we're definitely getting better. I think in the next five years there will be a big group of Americans.
Q. Are you talking about the powers that be? Who is getting impatient? Are you talking about within the tennis world?
MADISON KEYS: I just think everyone in the tennis world. We definitely get a lot of support from them. That's kind of all that we're asking for, is just some support. You know, just keep cheering us on and we'll keep getting better.
Q. How was it like for you when you had to make a choice about college or not?
MADISON KEYS: Personally for me, I never really wanted to play college tennis. I signed when I was 14. So for me it was never even really an option. I've always wanted to be a professional tennis player. I couldn't imagine going to college first and then coming here. So for me it was an easy decision. But other people want to go to college first and then become a professional. I think it's really just each person is different in their choices.
Q. In Italy we have strong women, and the men's side is not very strong. What is it that American girls have compared to the men's side?
MADISON KEYS: Can I plead the Fifth on that one? I know a lot of the U.S. guys, and they're all very hard workers. I want everyone to do well, especially on the men's side. The women's side has definitely been doing better than they have for a little while now. Hopefully we can inspire some of the boys and they will get their rankings up.
Q. If you're a guy, basketball, baseball, football, hockey, are there more distractions?
MADISON KEYS: I think that could be part of it. I think for women, we definitely have less professional sports that we could be really good at. But guys have a lot more. So I think that could be part of it.
And that's mostly what they do: "Relax, you're doing everything perfect. It would be more perfect with a little more backhand slice, just to throw her off. But you're doing great really. I'm out here. Keep it up." How the girls manage without that sage advice in the majors, I'll never knowMADISON KEYS: Yeah. I mean, obviously it's great if you're panicking and your coach comes out and it just could just be like, Calm down; this is what you have to do.