“Those pressure moments and matches are so stressful” Madison Keys isn’t taking tennis for granted ever again
Madison Keys believes that the long lockdown will lead to many players never taking their tennis lives for granted again.
The 25-year-old American, who has not played a match for five months, says she cannot wait for the chance to return to competition.
Tournaments are scheduled to resume in August, but Madison Keys will have the chance to dip her toes in the water when she takes part in the Credit One Bank Invitational in Charleston, South Carolina. The 16-player team event, which will be played without spectators but will be televised on the Tennis Channel, will be staged from June 23-28.
“The toughest thing is going to be just getting back out there,” the world No 13 said. “I haven’t played a singles match since Australia. It’s been a few months, so it’s definitely going to take some time to get back out there. It’s probably going to be pretty difficult for all of us to manage those nerves and get back into that mentality of playing matches. I don’t think many of us outside of having an injury have gone this long without that level of competition.”
Keys said that at the start of the lockdown many players might have welcomed the break. She explained: “We were all thinking: ‘Oh, I love some weeks at home after being on the road for so long. Those pressure moments and matches are so stressful.’
“Now we’re all like: ‘Please put me on a centre court, break point down in the third, because I would love to have that feeling.’ I think we all really just take for granted how much we love competing. Even on those days where you lose, you get to go out and compete and play a sport that you love. I don’t think we’re ever going to forget that. It was just something that we really took for granted before.”
She added: “We also know that in the future we’re going to be able to be back in those big packed stadiums. I don’t think any of us are ever going to complain again about the stresses of playing tennis quite as much.”
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