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August 18, 2019

Madison Keys

Cincinnati, Ohio

M. KEYS/S. Kuznetsova

7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. She served for both sets at 5-3. You found a way back and won both of them. How were you able to do so?
MADISON KEYS: I think I just really focused in on obviously really important games and was able to make her play a lot of balls. Luckily figured out a way to level up the scoreline.

Q. When things were going well for you in the match, what was particularly working for you?
MADISON KEYS: One, my serve. I think I served really well today, especially in certain pockets.

I think when I was doing a good job at moving forward and kind of trying to neutralize some of her deep, heavy, spinny shots, I was able to get out in front in the point and play a little bit more offense.

Q. How much was the heat troubling you? Or was it?
MADISON KEYS: It wasn't that bad. I mean, it was warm but it didn't feel too bad.

Q. You beat four multiple Grand Slam champions on the way to this title. You hit your most aces you ever hit or tied the most. It was very hecking good.
MADISON KEYS: Did you just say "hecking good"? I like that.

Q. Do you feel like it's the best week you have had in your career? Is this the biggest title you have ever won?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, it's obviously the biggest title I have ever won, and, I mean, it was a tough draw from the very start. I played some really, really great players from Round 1 until today.

Yeah, I definitely think I played some of my best tennis consistently this week.

Q. You were 3-0 against her coming in. Did you use anything from prior game plans, or was this a fresh game plan for today?
MADISON KEYS: It was, I mean, similar. Her strengths and her weaknesses are the same, but I knew she was probably playing some really good tennis in order to get to this position. It was a completely new match.

Q. Did you discover something in your game this week that will help you going forward that you maybe didn't know before this week?
MADISON KEYS: I think I have known, you know, what I need to do in order to play good tennis. It's more how to put that all together and how to, you know, keep my emotions in check the entire time. I thought I did a good job of that this week.

Q. Was there anything in particular that helped you to keep your emotions in check?
MADISON KEYS: I don't know. I think I was just really calm. I just let myself go out there and play, you know, however I could play that day. I kind of dropped the expectations on myself a little bit.

Q. Do you feel like you turned a corner?
MADISON KEYS: I hope so.

Q. You sound relatively calm, given that it was the biggest title your career an hour ago. I'm curious if you have an eye towards New York, trying to keep things in perspective now? What's going through your mind as you look at that big trophy to your right?
MADISON KEYS: I'm obviously really happy and really proud of myself. It's definitely more of a building block. I want to do well in New York, and I want to have a good end of the season, so taking a lot of positives from this week. Just trying to reel it in a little bit.

Q. You have been really good in New York: a final, semis. What do you think is working so well for you in New York?
MADISON KEYS: I think I love New York honestly just because even in moments in the last couple of years where I have been down and out I have had such crowd support that they have helped me so much. Honestly, some of my favorite matches that I have ever played have been those late Ashe matches. I think I just have really thrived in that environment.

Q. Are you going to be requesting midnights with...
MADISON KEYS: No. I'm not requesting it. If it happens, then I will be fine with it. But I like to finish before 2:00 in the morning.

Q. Six wins, a lot of great, great wins, do you think you can do as well or do you feel ready to do as well or better in New York this year as you have done in the past?
MADISON KEYS: Definitely that's obviously the goal. I have to keep everything in perspective and keep doing what I did well here. You know, not putting the pressure on myself so that I can go out and play some really good tennis, and that's what I'm going to focus on. Hopefully in a couple of weeks we can have a different conversation.

Q. With the win today, you re-enter the WTA top 10. Is that something you were aware of that was on the line?
MADISON KEYS: I had no idea. I didn't even hear Andrew say it. Someone texted me afterwards. I was, like, Oh, that's cool.

Q. How does it feel?
MADISON KEYS: It's good. It feels nice.

Q. Your thoughts on the design of the trophy.
MADISON KEYS: It's beautiful. I have always seen it in pictures and wanted to see it up close, and now I get to.

Q. Do you have a special spot in your home picked out for where it's going to live?
MADISON KEYS: I do, actually, yes.

Q. There is a lot of storage space in there. Anything you're going to put in there?
MADISON KEYS: My grandma said she wanted it for a vase so she could put flowers in it. We'll see. I'll probably keep this one.

Q. The tournament is setting attendance records this week. How do you feel about the Cincinnati fans?
MADISON KEYS: They're awesome. I have always loved this tournament. It's one of my favorite weeks of the year. To see how many fans came out this week, I feel like every match I played almost every stadium was full. It was really great that so many people came out to watch.

Q. Does it feel like a home tournament for you as a Midwestern gal?
MADISON KEYS: I think it's the closest thing that I will have to a hometown tournament. I have claimed it as that. I don't know if the tournament has claimed me back, but I'll take it (smiling).

Q. With respect to this win, are you going to update any personal goals you have for the year at this point?
MADISON KEYS: No. I think my goals at the start of the year were very process-based and not really focused on results. They will stay the same.

Q. Outside of the tournament, what's your experience of Cincinnati like?
MADISON KEYS: It's been good. I haven't really left Mason. I went to the mall, Sephora. That was fun.

Q. Are you going to explore Cincinnati before you leave?
MADISON KEYS: To be totally honest with you, I have to pack and then I fly. Probably not (smiling).

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