Fifteenth seed Madison Keys had the spotlight on her tonight.
With all the outer matches cancelled because of the rain, the American was the star of the show with her first round night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I don’t know if they were more, but they were definitely there. I think a first round at any slam, you have the nerves,” Keys said. “But first round at the US Open, home slam, they’re always amped up a little bit more than usual.”
Some nerves but no problem as she dispatched Belgian Elise Mertens, 6-3 7-6(6).
“I’m really happy that I got it done in straight sets,” she said. “I guess I had time to add a bit of drama to the match, but glad I didn’t add too much.”
It was interesting because Keys is coached by Lindsay Davenport, who was sitting in her box, while all time great Kim Clijsters was in Mertens camp. It allowed for some drama and intrigue in this first round matchup.
“I think it’s funny,” Keys said. “Like I think it’s funny there’s two former champions. But I think it’s also really fun. Two young players have former champions in their corner. I don’t think you see that very often.”
So now Keys takes on 18 year-old Ashley Kratzer, who Keys doesn’t know anything about.
Is she worried?
“I’m really excited that I won today,” Keys said. “I think I did a lot of things well. I also think I kind of have a little bit of an advantage just because I can — I’m not going to watch my opponent’s match, but my coaches will watch my opponent’s match, see how they’re playing on these courts.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to playing whoever I get.”
Maybe the nerves will be a little less next time.