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September 1, 2018

Madison Keys

New York, NY, USA

M. KEYS/A. Krunic

4-6, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What kind of adjustments did you have to make after that first set?
MADISON KEYS: I think the biggest thing was I had to kind of figure out a way to get her off of the baseline as much. I think in the first set she was holding her ground really well and kind of dictating the points.

You know, when I'm playing tennis, I want to be the one that's dictating points and the one that's not running as much. That was the biggest adjustment I had to make.

Q. You lost to her four years ago, I think. You did not lose to her this year. So what was the difference in how you approached the matches?
MADISON KEYS: Four years helps (smiling).

But I think the biggest thing was just being on that stage more and more and being more comfortable in a situation where I lost the first set, but I know I can come back and all of that.

I think those years ago I had played on Armstrong for, like, the first or second time and it was the biggest crowd and all that. Just the experience I think is a big help.

Q. How much more confidence do you have coming into this tournament given that you got to the finals last year?
MADISON KEYS: I think the confidence comes more from knowing I was able to get myself back in so many matches last year after being down, and, you know, even in final sets being down.

So the biggest confidence boost for me has been being able to get myself back into those matches and knowing that in a situation like today, if I make some adjustments and stay calm, then I can usually figure things out.

Q. What are some of those adjustments?
MADISON KEYS: I think, you know, it's making more first serves, or today a big one was making more returns and making her play the ball.

More than that, it was just trusting my shots and going for it when I had it.

Q. We don't know yet whether it will be Angie or Cibulkova next. Starting with Angie, how would you describe the matchup for you and what it's depended on so far in your head-to-heads?
MADISON KEYS: Angie is a great player and she's obviously had a pretty good year after winning Wimbledon.

But I think she moves really well, changes direction really well. And, you know, she's just one of those players that makes you feel like you have to go for more simply because she covers the court so well.

Q. If it is Cibulkova, how would you describe that challenge?
MADISON KEYS: I think she's super feisty. She never gives up. I think she definitely goes for her shots and is pretty aggressive.

Q. (Question about coming back to the National Tennis Center for the first time since last year's final.)
MADISON KEYS: A little bit of both. Coming into here, I was, like, Oh, last time I was in here, I lost. That's fun (smiling).

That was probably the only time that I really felt like that, but it was more really cool just because the grounds have changed a lot and it was kind of fun to see all of the new improvements around the grounds.

Q. When there is that initial thought, Oh, cool, last time I lost here, is it kind of Got to get that out of my mind as quickly as possible?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, it is what it is. It was there and it happened. It's fine. I'm not torn up about it.

Q. How does it feel to see the two top seeds go out so early? Does everybody take notice that the field is dramatically altered?
MADISON KEYS: I'm just worried about the match in front of me, not looking past that.

Q. You have played Kerber a lot, a lot of tight matches. You did beat her last time in Cincy. What do you remember about those matches? Do you get excited for that offense-versus-defense thing that happens in those matches or is it more hell for you?
MADISON KEYS: I think it's always a matchup that I have to be smart about. And for me, it's trying to find the balance between when to go for things and when to kind of pull back. I think in Cincinnati, I figured that out for the first time in a long time.

But even a lot of the matches that I have lost, it's come down to a couple of points here and there.

Thinking about that, it's just, Okay, let me kind of look back and think about where in those matches that I did lose, where maybe I went for something too soon and didn't go for it. It's looking at the key moments and seeing what happened.

Q. Assuming you watched the match last night, what are your thoughts on the state of Serena's game right now?
MADISON KEYS: I think she played really well. You obviously have to play well to, you know, beat Venus.

She played well. I mean, she's in pretty good shape. She also made the Wimbledon final, so I think she's, you know, playing really good tennis.

Q. There are a lot of players who are very superstitious. Are you? If so, what sorts of things do you do or try to avoid on the court or before a match?
MADISON KEYS: My superstition is to not have set things. So, like, I never wake up at the same time. I never wear, like -- I just try to make things random, because then I'm not stuck in something, which doesn't make any sense. But that's pretty much all I do.

Q. What do you want to focus on going into your next set so that you're not down in the first set?
MADISON KEYS: Winning the first game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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