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September 2, 2016
New York, NY, USA
M. KEYS/N. Osaka
7-5, 4-6, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. A great win. After today and Monday, I'm starting to think you like to live on the edge. How were you able to remain calm and confident and collected down 1-5 in the final set?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously those aren't the most fun matches, but I just knew that, you know, if I stayed in the match that I could maybe have a chance to come back and get back in it.
No matter what the score was, it was always just trying to get back in the match. Once I was able to get a little bit of momentum I felt like I found my game a bit more. At that point I knew I had to kind of step up or else I was going to be going home.
Q. You were really struggling with your returns in the beginning of that third set. Just missing a few balls. It seemed like something clicked and you dug in and started hitting faster through the ball and everything. Was that intentional or adrenaline? Kind of a refuse to lose sort of thing? What do you think that is?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was a little bit of both. There was obviously not a ton of rhythm at the beginning of that set. I felt like I wasn't returning very well. It got to a point where you're either going to make them or you're going to lose.
I think I kind of just took a step back and just wanted to make her play. Then I think once I did that I got a little bit of confidence back and started playing better.
Q. Moving forward, are you going to incorporate going to the net more often? I know you your game is power, but will you incorporate more going to the net and developing a net game?
MADISON KEYS: I'm definitely working on it and I'm trying to come to the net more. It obviously happens in less stressful times and when I'm feeling a little bit more relaxed.
But I'm definitely working on trying to improve that part of my game.
Q. Speaking of the net, 1-5, Love-15, you kind of stormed into the net and played those two volleys. At the time it seemed crazy but with hindsight it seemed like the moment it all changed and you started moving. What was going through your mind when you hit those shots?
MADISON KEYS: You know, I think she kind of just hit a shot that I felt like I was being pulled forward on. You know, then at that point it was just me trying to get the ball back over the net.
Once that moment kind of happened, I feel like I kind of got really fired up about it. That really helped me.
Q. When she was just a couple points from the win, what was going through your mind as your shot sailed over that net?
MADISON KEYS: I think the biggest thought was -- I didn't know if I should challenge the ball or not because I thought it was out. Then as soon as she went to hit the volley it was just kind of, Please, God, get to the ball or please go out.
Q. As you certainly know, tennis can be a very tough, brutal game. You have suffered many, many tough losses yourself. She's just 18. By all accounts, a delightful young player. What would you say to her so this doesn't throw her off, that she just go on?
MADISON KEYS: I think she played really well. I think at the end of the match it kind of came down to experience, being in that situation before, having lost some tough matches. It happens. You know, it just makes you stronger.
You kind of just put it in the back of your mind and use it to fuel yourself and get back out there and try to get better.
Q. Is it tough to put tough losses behind you to just go on and not bring yourself down after a tough defeat?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, it can be. I think some losses are tougher than others. Some kind of stick around longer than others.
But at the end of the day, if you can learn something from it, then you can take it as a positive.
Q. You practiced with her. How much more did you see of her game in a match situation, and can you see playing her for years to come?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, for sure. I practiced with her a little bit. It was probably an hour hit. So I didn't know a ton about her, but seeing how she played today, she has a great serve and she has a great forehand. She is really aggressive, and I like how she plays.
So, for sure I think that we will see her around. I think she's an amazing fighter, because she definitely could have given up after the middle of the second set and she didn't.
Q. Talking about experience, how comfortable are you on Ashe right now? How do you feel like the crowd on center court has warmed up to you the more you have played on that court?
MADISON KEYS: I haven't played many matches on Ashe, but always happy to be out there. The crowd today was amazing, and getting to play at your home slam on Ashe is a feeling like you can't even describe.
So having that crowd support today was really incredible.
Q. Next you will probably have Wozniacki probably at night on center court. How do you think the crowd will be on that match?
MADISON KEYS: I think the crowd will be more divided seeing as she's a finalist, but I think I will have plenty of support.
Q. Did you feel like you sort of put a little more weight or shape to your shots from that 1-5? It appears you were still hitting through the ball. Did you feel like you had your foot completely on the gas through that comeback, or did you sort of pull back a little bit and make her play?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was a little bit of a combination. I think I definitely backed off at the beginning of the third set. Wasn't looking for forehands as much.
I knew I was going to have to play aggressive because she's a great player and she was going to step up and try to win the match. So I knew I had to do the same.
And I think it was just a balancing act of knowing when to maybe take a little bit off of it and then when to really look for my forehand and step in.
Q. First round, two points from the loss; today, two points from the loss. You're into the round of 16. What do you take away from the first week of kind of, yeah, giving everybody a heart attack?
MADISON KEYS: I think the biggest thing is just, you know, I'm never giving up and I'm fighting to the very end. That's something to pat myself on the back for. But also definitely going to sit down later and work on some things for the next round because I don't want to be two points from losing again.
Yeah, so really looking forward to trying to have straightforward matches.
Q. It will be your first meeting with Caroline Wozniacki. How do you see her as an opponent?
MADISON KEYS: I have known Caroline for a while. I don't think we have ever really practiced or anything, but she's obviously a great player. She loves playing at the US Open. She's done well here. She's going to be tough.
I think she's playing well right now. You know, it's always interesting once you get to the fourth round because everyone has won matches and they're feeling very confident.
Q. You call it the best comeback of your career. Why?
MADISON KEYS: I think just because this is the biggest stage that I have done it on. I think I easily could have let a lot of emotions get in the way of, you know, being able to come back today.
Being able to kind of block out everything and just really fight through it and get back into the match, I was really proud of myself for that today.
Q. There was a week off or a couple of weeks between, but coming off of the Olympics and that experience, and I think a lot of the emotional energy that was spent in Rio and the actual energy of getting there, has it been more of a challenge than, say, coming off of a Cincinnati or a New Haven?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think there is a difference between the Olympics and Cincinnati or New Haven. I know for me there was no chance I could have played Cincinnati. I was so emotionally tired after Rio. It was amazing. You know, it was one of the best weeks of my life, but it was definitely very draining.
So it's been different to kind of have to come back from that and get yourself back on track after that.
Q. Your career is going beautifully. Do you feel in your gut you're now ready to lift the trophy here on the final Saturday?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think I have done a lot of work and that I'm here and I'm competing for that. But at the same time, it's not really how I focus on things. I'm more concerned about fourth round against Caroline on Sunday.
So I'm not looking past that right now.
Q. You seem relatively calm despite what was going on. Did you have to make a conscious effort? If so, what did you tell yourself?
MADISON KEYS: I really just kept telling myself, Just try to stay in it. I just knew I was going to have to step up. It was one of those things where it was either step up or lose, so, you know, I knew I had to stay calm in that moment. I kind of just forced myself to.
Q. When asked about up and coming American talent, Serena Williams mentioned your name first. Many people think you're the next superstar for American women. What do you think about that?
MADISON KEYS: I think that's very nice of her to say (laughter). It always feels good to hear Serena say something like that. More than anything, it just makes me want to go out and keep working and trying to get better. Just because if someone who has been in her position where she's been No. 1 for so long says that about me, you know, I really want to do my best to kind of live up to that and do everything I can to put myself in a good position.
Q. Regardless of what happens, you'll finish the Grand Slam season having made all four second weeks this year. What about that makes you the most proud?
MADISON KEYS: Just that it was my goal to be more consistent and to make second weeks. I felt like I worked so hard at it and I was so close so many times.
So, you know, those mornings when I didn't want to wake up at 6:15 to go to practice, those are the moments where I feel like getting through those and going out and having good practices have put me in this position.
As much as I hate it, I'm probably going to have to keep doing some of those.
Q. You have talked a lot during the summer about winning matches when you're not playing well. Based on this week and also the whole past few months, do you feel like that's something you're now good at and you can now rely on that to get you through certain problems?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I think I have had a lot of matches where I have had to dig myself out of holes or, you know, figure out ways to win when I wasn't playing my best.
I think I have done a really good job at that. I think that gives me a little bit of confidence when I am down, knowing that I can figure things out.
Q. What do you do to just have fun?
MADISON KEYS: Lately, I have just been taking lots of naps and watching movies. (Smiling.) Normally I like to hang out with my friends and family.
I really enjoy baking, which is tough on the road. Yeah, so whenever I'm home I feel like I'm constantly in the kitchen.
Q. What do you bake?
MADISON KEYS: I make all kinds of things.
Q. You do?
MADISON KEYS: Yes.
Q. Serena's nice compliment about you, Serena told us about Naomi. She's a very dangerous player. Do you think in the near or far future any rivalry between you and her?
MADISON KEYS: There definitely could be. I think she's a great player and there are a lot of weapons that are going to get her very far. Yeah, I have no doubt she will be around and winning lots of matches.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports