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May 24, 2016

Madison Keys

Paris, France

M. KEYS/D. Vekic

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Coming off the great tournament in Rome, how different does it play here, the conditions and the balls and the weather?
MADISON KEYS: It's definitely -- it feels heavier today. I felt like also had a lot to do with the weather. It was a lot colder here so played a little bit slower.

I think the courts in Rome seem a little bit faster to me. The balls here kind of stay where they bounce a little bit more; whereas they kind of come through the court in Rome.

Q. Where is your head around clay these days? I remember in years past you were happy to scrap through a match here or there.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, a lot better than it has been in past years. I know I say it all the time, but just more and more comfortable on it. Slowly figuring out the balance between playing my aggressive game style and knowing when to kind of maybe throw up a ball to get myself back in position because it is a slower court.

So I think slowly just kind of figuring out how to mix up my game.

Q. Is it less so feeling comfortable in terms of your footing and footwork and positioning when you get to the ball, or it's more about knowing when to hold back and when to go for it?
MADISON KEYS: I feel like I've never really struggled with the movement part it. I feel like I always slid pretty well; got tone a lot of balls. That has never been a huge thing for me with the clay.

It was more when to hit what shot just. Because it is slower, I would put myself in a bad position a lot of the time.

Q. A bit off topic, but I remember once you said you were on Snapchat.

Q. I wondered your thoughts on it compared to other social media. What do you like about it? Do you like you're not getting hate comments all the time?
MADISON KEYS: That part is amazing. Yeah, it's also kind of nice because it's private for me. I haven't put my name out there or anything like that, so it's just my friends. So the fact that people can't just write death threats to me after matches and stuff feels really good.

Yeah, for me it's just more fun and it's more a personal thing; whereas Twitter and Instagram is more towards my fans and things like that.

Q. The negative comments on Twitter ever take their toll on you or you manage that well?
MADISON KEYS: I think I manage it pretty well. There are definitely days where I'm stronger and other days where after a tough day I'll read them and sometimes that gets tough.

But it's to the point where you have a tough match and you know you're going to have a lot of horrible comments you just scroll to the top, don't read it, close it, and don't deal with it for a few days.

Q. How much more comfortable are you at being a professional tennis player, like being at a Grand Slam? Maybe you've been to ten now compared to when you first started out. Were you kind of starry-eyed then and do you feel more like a professional now?
MADISON KEYS: Well, being a veteran now, I definitely feel more comfortable. Just playing a lot more even just tournaments in general. I started when he was 14, but wasn't allowed to play a full schedule until I was 18.

So having multiple years of a full schedule just kind of getting in the routine of playing the same tournaments has been really beneficial for me.

Q. Being the veteran that you are, how does the process work when you say once in a while your shot selection may be not the best? How does it work? You go with your coach or decide within the game this was not great; I'm going to do better next?
MADISON KEYS: I feel like I go in with a great game plan and saying I'm going to wait for the right shot, all that. In the moment, a lot of times you go for the dumb shot, and after you hit it you think, That wasn't smart.

You just have to be aware of that so you know next time I'm not going to do that.

Q. You just mentioned not being able to play a full schedule at 14. On the flip side, would you like to see something where older players can opt out of events when they get past 30 or 35?
MADISON KEYS: I think there maybe could be some more rules. I think right now it's pretty tough to play a full schedule every year, especially if you've been doing it for ten plus years.

Obviously I don't have personal experience on this front so I can't give you a great answer, but I think seeing the way it is and seeing how many people are now 28, 29, 30, 32, I think it could be a rule.

Q. Do you feel like your expectations are different for yourself coming into this tournament this year?
MADISON KEYS: For sure. I think I have a lot more confidence on clay. I'm feeling more and more comfortable.

But at the same time, I'm always more I want to go out and play a good match and not really worry about the expectations that I have based on rounds.

Q. You talked about first emerging. If you could go back and talk to yourself at that point or give yourself one piece of advice or how to approach your career, what would that be?
MADISON KEYS: I have no idea. I think just enjoying it and not taking it too seriously. There are definitely a lot of matches that I took a lot harder than I probably should have looking back at it. That's just kind of how it goes.

Q. Also, did you actually get death threats over social media?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. You get it like every day. Yeah, happens a lot.

Q. Wow. Do you know who your possible next opponents are or am I ruining it for you?
MADISON KEYS: I think it's Gavrilova/Duque Marino.

Q. Yeah. Dasha is up a set and a break. Can you look ahead to that matchup?
MADISON KEYS: It's kind of lucky that I just played her at Fed Cup on red clay, so I feel like I have a little bit of knowledge on how I want to play and how she might try to play.

It's always different when it's Fed Cup and a Grand Slam, but I'm looking forward to it. I think we both played really well that day, so be tough no matter what.

Q. Do you find lefties more difficult than righties, or not much difference?
MADISON KEYS: I think the only time when they're probably more difficult to play is service-wise, just because on the ad side you don't normally get pulled out on your backhand the way they're usually able to do that.

Other than that, it's pretty even.

Q. Obviously you played Serena last week. You played her at the US Open as well. What's the relationship with her? The romantic thought would be there is an elder stateswoman that cares about the younger ones.
MADISON KEYS: She's been great. I was lucky. I got to -- I wasn't a part of the team, but I got to kind of be a part of the team at Fed Cup when it was in Delray Beach since I was close. So it was fine. I kind of got to do a lot of the team activities. Venus and Serena are both really fun. Yeah, so she's always kind of there and funny.

I mean, we're not sitting around texting each other all day long, but definitely been very happy for me and always hoping that I do well.

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