Interview: [9] Madison Keys – 1R (def. Emma Navarro 6-4 6-3)

Interview: [9] Madison Keys – 1R (def. Emma Navarro 6-4 6-3)

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

First round: [9] Madison Keys (USA) def. Emma Navarro (USA) 6-4 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Madison, congratulations for your first win on clay this year. Can you just talk about the match and your overall thoughts on your performance?

MADISON KEYS: I thought today was pretty solid. I thought for the most part it was a pretty clean match and played the way that I wanted to play. I knew it was going to be obviously tough playing Emma, playing at home, so I knew that she was going to, you know, not only is she a great player, but play probably even better just because she was at home. So overall just really happy to get first win on clay.


Question: I guess just going off your opening statement, what was working for you to get out to such a commanding lead in the first set?

MADISON KEYS: I think obviously being able to kind of break twice kind of gave me that insurance break a little bit, and then obviously serving well up until that one game. And I think, like I said, that

insurance break really helped me out where I had one bad service game and I’m still okay. And then just kind of tried to ride that into the second set.

Question: Yesterday in media day you said that you were trying to work on embracing the surface instead of fighting it. Do you feel that was your experience today? You said it was a solid match and you felt good. Did that come into play? Was that working for you?

MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I think so. I think I was really trying to not try to change things too quickly or go for things that weren’t there and really work the point, try to get up to the net and really just kind of extend points when necessary. And I think not only was I on clay, but I think Emma defends really well. So I just knew it was probably going to take an extra ball or two before I could put the ball away.

Question: How much of an emphasis do you place in your mind going into a match against a much younger, less experienced opponent, the importance of maybe getting off to a good start and maybe even taking away some of the belief on the other end?

MADISON KEYS: I definitely think that’s a component. I think just trying to get off to a really good start always helps. I think there’s probably some nerves and just trying to get up as quickly as possible. I think the other thing is you kind of know that they’re going to have crowd

support, they’re going to try to get back in the match. And you know that at any moment things could kind of change. So starting off on a good foot is really important normally, but especially so when you’re playing someone young and someone in front of a home crowd.

Question: Going off that, I know every match is different, but how do you think your play today can kind of set the tone going forward the rest of the week?

MADISON KEYS: I definitely think there were a lot of good things from today that I can try to continue to follow through on this week. I also think there were a few things here or there that I can improve on, which is always a good thing. So I definitely think there’s a lot of good, but there’s also plenty of room for improvement.

Question: Maddy, maybe not everything you think, but where does your mind going during a match? Are you thinking of random things? And in stadium like this where it’s so intimate, does that effect versus like venue where you might be able to zone people out more?

MADISON KEYS: I feel like I typically zone people out pretty well in any stadium. To be totally honest with you, today I’ve had this Lady Gaga song stuck in my head. I don’t even know what the song is or any — like more than like one part of the lyrics. So to be totally honest with you, that was kind of just playing in my head on and off the entire match.

Question: Maddy, you were born that way. Having won the tournament already, and this is kind of an extension of what Nick is talking about. To what extent is that helpful to you mentally and to what extent is it not?

MADISON KEYS: I definitely think it’s — there’s a lot more positives than negatives to that. I think I have had a lot of success here in Charleston, even more so than just winning the tournament. I’ve made the quarters. I’ve made the semis. I’ve made the finals before. So I’ve had a lot of really good wins here, so I feel like I just have a lot of confidence, and I feel very comfortable playing here. I do think that there’s always the added element of I love playing here, I would love to win again. But I do think all of those positives significantly outweigh that little pressure that I have.

Question: I mean I don’t think you necessarily want to give her advice, but Emma was saying she feels like she’s on the right path. She’s 118 this week. I think that’s a career high for her. When you look at her game and sort of the development that she’s had, what sort of reaction did you have out of what she did well today and sort of your summation of her?

MADISON KEYS: I mean I think she’s a very good player. I also think she’s very good on clay. I think she has a great game for clay. She defends really well. She makes people hit that one extra shot. And I think a lot of times in tight moments that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I mean, I think she’s doing a great job, and I mean, if she continues her hard work, then I’m sure we’ll see her around even more.

Madison Keys
Players in this article