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May 15, 2016

Madison Keys

Rome, Italy


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good start. Obviously not the finish you wanted, though. How are you feeling overall about what you were able to do out there today?
MADISON KEYS: I think I did a lot of things well. I think there were some things that I could have done better, obviously.

But the first set was really a couple of points here or there. Obviously not happy with those two back-to-back double faults.

I mean, she really stepped up her game in the second set. It's just one of those things where you kind of replay the match in your mind, think of the points here or there that you could fix, and try to take whatever you need to take from the match and then move on.

Q. If I heard well, Serena told you you're going to be the next No. 1 after match. So it's quite a big heritage.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, too bad what she says doesn't just happen (smiling). But, yeah, I mean, it's always great to hear that from her. She's obviously an amazing champion, and she's won so many matches and tournaments. Hearing that is definitely something that makes me just work harder.

Q. On those two double faults, I saw the wind kicking up and swirling a little bit, but was it just a matter of that or was the first double fault so crazy that it put you off? What do you think?
MADISON KEYS: It was kind of the wind started swirling a little bit, which was difficult, and then the first one happened and then the second one was definitely more nerves than wind. And then, I mean, the next point I missed the ball by a millimeter.

Just, it happens sometimes, and probably going to go hit 300 second serves tomorrow.

Q. Obviously the biggest final you have played in your career so far in terms of just level of tournament. Did it, in a way, help you playing Serena because you have played her twice before in terms of just not thinking of it maybe as a big final, as a Premier 5 final? Because you looked fairly settled out there when you started the match.
MADISON KEYS: See, everyone says I looked really calm and relaxed. I wasn't. (Smiling.)

I'm glad I was giving that off, but I think no matter how many times you play Serena, you always go in and you can just feel her presence. That's always an extra thing that you have to be worried about during the match.

But for me today it really wasn't so much about how big the tournament was or anything like that. It was really just wanting to go out and do my best and give my best performance.

Q. This is Serena's first title in nine months or so. You have played her a few times before. Can you assess her form from the other side of the net?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, I personally thought it was pretty good. (Smiling.)

I don't think she has anything to worry about.

Q. Does this week make you look at the French Open a little bit differently than maybe you would have looked at it a week ago?
MADISON KEYS: I think it gives me some confidence, just having some matches on red clay. You always want to go into a slam feeling good and feeling like you're match-ready.

There has obviously been times I've gotten into slams with one or two matches, and that's not the case this week. So feeling good about that.

But at the same time, everyone brings it for a Grand Slam, so no matter what, it's going to be tough.

Q. You obviously weren't expecting to be here in Rome in the final. Once you got out there, did you feel, like, I belong in this final, I can win this title? Was your mind in a good place that way?
MADISON KEYS: For sure. You have to be. You can't lose the match in the locker room. You have to think that you deserve to be here, and I feel like I did. I beat a lot of top players this week, and I played well.

So I definitely felt like I belonged here and I deserved to get here. I guess, you know, next time it's just crossing the finish line.

Q. We see Serena talking in Italian some words. Do you know also some Italian words or something or too young for learning Italian?
MADISON KEYS: No, I know a little bit of Spanish, can understand Spanish. Haven't ventured into Italian. But, you know, one day maybe I'll sit down and try to learn the language (smiling).

Q. With these three matches against Serena, and you have played them well and given her a run for her money, particularly early, what does that do for like your career confidence, just knowing you're 21 years old and you're bringing it against, you know, one of the all-time greats?
MADISON KEYS: I think it just kind of makes -- it makes you feel good, for sure. But it's also, you know, if you push Serena to a tiebreaker and if you can, you know, maybe win a couple of free points here and there, it definitely just makes you think, okay, every ball that in practice that I'm kind of reaching for and kind of just want to tank on, it just makes you remember, those are the moments that, you know, in big matches, those can really change the momentum.

Q. I know it's pretty quick after the match, but what would you say are you happiest with coming out of this week with your game?
MADISON KEYS: I think having a couple of top 10 wins this week was really big for me and playing people who have done very well in Roland Garros and just on clay in general. But I think the biggest thing is just how calm I have stayed on court and really, even in tough situations, stayed calm and collected and just really focused on my game, and I feel like I'm just playing much smarter tennis.

Q. You're also a girl.

Q. So what do you like to do in your spare time apart of the tennis court?
MADISON KEYS: Well, being a girl, I like to shop. I also like to bake. But my biggest thing is I love just spending time with my friends and family and pretty low-key in that way of just don't really have to be doing anything but just being surrounded by people that I love.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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