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January 1, 2018

Madison Keys

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

J. KONTA/M. Keys.

4-6, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a pretty rough draw to start your year.
MADISON KEYS: Yay, 2018.


Q. What was your reaction when you saw the draw and I guess how do you not let this, you know, tough draw derail you too much?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, it was damn good tennis today. So I haven't played a match in four months, so it's like a win for me.

Obviously, I knew it was going to be a tough match. Played really well. She played better. Not much that I can do about, I'm not that upset about it.

Yeah, I mean, I think if I played the way that I played against most people today, probably would have won. She happened to be better. Too good.

Q. What is it that she does particularly well?
MADISON KEYS: Well, she didn't miss for, like, a set and a half, so that didn't help. And she was returning well and she put a lot of pressure on me. She was serving really well.

She just played really, really solid and didn't really give me much.

Q. You looked pretty fit walking out there?

Q. You're welcome. But can you talk a little bit about your offseason? You know, did it differ at all in your preparation for this season and just based off of everything that happened last year with the wrist and stuff. I mean, I don't know. Was it standard kind of work or --
MADISON KEYS: It was pretty standard. I had, obviously, a longer time because I finished my year earlier. So I had, like, 11 weeks where I did, like, four and then I took a week, and then I did four again. So that was probably the only difference.

But was very excited to get on a plane to come here. And even with a tough loss today, I'm happy to be out here to finish a full match, healthy, play good tennis. That's all I'm going to be ask for.

Q. Is this one of your more upbeat losses that you can remember?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. I'm not that upset about it. I mean, obviously, like, I wish I would have won, but it could have been a lot worse.

So it's like new year, new me, all of that BS that's not actually true.

Q. Do you feel like everything was working out in terms of your game, your fitness? Everything felt good from what you could control?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah. Honestly, I feel like I played two bad service games. And even those service games, it was not even a full game. It was, like, two points and she played two good points.

I mean, that match could have happened late in a Grand Slam or in the finals of another tournament. It happened first round. Too good.

Q. On that, they're changing the format of Slams next year to only 16 seeds. So that could have been a first-round match at a Slam.
MADISON KEYS: Well, that would suck.

Q. So what do you think of that rule change? I'm not sure. I mean, Jo was saying she didn't really understand the logic behind it when I asked her about it.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I don't anyone really understands the logic behind it. It used to be 16. They switched it to 32 for a reason.

I feel like the mentality is you have more exciting first rounds, but then you have two really good players, one knocks the other one out, then you don't have the, you know, tighter, close, later rounds. So I don't fully understand it.

As far as the other rules, I think they're fine. I don't think it's that big of a deal. That's the one that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Q. Do you think that's a goal that maybe -- I don't know -- makes more sense for one tour and not for the other? Does the women's tour need first and second and third and fourth round upsets in the first week of the Slam in a way that -- to be accelerated?
MADISON KEYS: Let's be honest. When was the last time we looked at a first-round Grand Slam and we're like, "Wow, these are all really boring. Not one of these matches is going to be exciting"?

I just don't see the logic behind it personally.

The men's matches, maybe, I guess. But even then, there are guys who are 17 in the world who all of a sudden can be knocked out first round because they missed it by one spot. But it doesn't totally make a lot of sense to me but...

Q. And on that, when you made the semis at the Australian Open, you were --

Q. 30, yeah.
MADISON KEYS: No, no. I was 33. So I wasn't seeded.

Q. But you got in late or something. You weren't seeded that tournament.
MADISON KEYS: The Australian Open?

Q. When you made the semis.

Q. Okay.
MADISON KEYS: Right there. First unseeded player.

Q. So you've been around that range where you were, like, where seeded was a goal.

Q. And now it will be a much tougher goal for fewer people.
MADISON KEYS: I mean, yeah, there's a big difference between trying to be 32 in the world and trying to be 16 in the world. It's a massive jump.

So, again, don't 100% see the logic. It's such a big draw. Whatever. I'm not in charge.

Q. Question about last year's US Open. I wonder during your offseason, when you look back at the US Open, you talked afterwards about your disappointment at the way the final panned out. But do you now look back on it and think what a great achievement it was to get to the final or do you dwell on that performance in the final?
MADISON KEYS: Both. I mean, I'm never going to look back at that final and, like, God what a good day.

But, at the same time, I had 13 amazing days. So it was, you know, obviously not how I wanted it to end. But for the year that I had, that was super unexpected.

So, like I said, if you told me that two weeks before I would say I'll take it, and then I get to that day and it was like the world was ending. So a little bit of both.

Q. The performance today and also your lead up and everything, does the result of today impact at all your confidence going forward?
MADISON KEYS: No, not really.

Q. Bolstered?
MADISON KEYS: Actually, like, I was a little bit impressed with myself today. I mean, honestly, I, like, look back at last year and I won, like, five matches total up through Stanford and then I won Stanford. So who knows what I'm going to do

So winning a first round but playing really well or losing it and playing really well kind of feels the same right now.

Q. Do you still take special pride in -- you had some impressive backhands today.
MADISON KEYS: Oh, that one backhand crosscourt, I was, like, Yes, I practiced that. It's there. I was really happy with it.

Q. But with your wrist and everything, when you hit a really good backhand, does it feel more exciting?
MADISON KEYS: Oh, for sure. I have to stop myself from, like, visually showing everyone that I'm like, Did you see that?

But, no, there was a couple today where I was like, Yes, it's there.

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