Everyone forgets the person who finishes second. So of course, the world is talking about the former champions, but Madison Keys is still here as well.
And now she’s into the third round with a straight set win over fellow American Bernarda Pera, 6-4 6-1.
“I feel good,” Keys said. “It’s always nice to finish when the sun is still up. I like that (smiling).
“I feel really good about today. I think I definitely brought my game up to a better level in the second set, so happy with it.”
It’s been somewhat of a rough year for Keys. She got sick in Australia and also injured in Rome, but also managed to make the French Open Semifinals. She is currently seeded 14th here at the Open.
But here at her home tournament, she has something to defend and not to mention a large amount of WTA points to make up if she doesn’t get to the finals.
“I feel pressure from your question right there. Geez, God,” she joked. How many points do I have coming up I need to defend?”
But in all seriousness: “Well, I’m trying not too think of it that way. Really just taking it match by match. It’s my first time having to defend a big result like that, so that’s something I’m going to have to deal with every day.
“The biggest thing is to not put pressure on myself and think it’s a failed tournament if I don’t make the finals or win. For me, it’s doing the things I can do to control the situation, see how things go.”
And that’s the right attitude. With so many things go on at the Open, Keys only can play her next match, which means Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia.
“I did play her again in Stanford a couple of years later,” Keys said. “She was a tough opponent at the US Open that year. She played really well. I feel like then the next time I played her I figured some things out.
“I don’t totally remember how either match went as far as game plan, but that’s something I’m definitely going to look back at, both matches, and see what was working and what I need to focus on.”
Her march to the finals continues on Saturday.