It’s official. We have Grand Slam fever! With under a week left until the Australian Open, it’s GO-time. Wilson staff are in Melbourne busting out the Wilson Suite and the pros are hard at work to prepare for the first Slam of the season. Among these Oz elite are many of Wilson’s Next Gen players. We got a chance to talk with Madison Keys, a Next Gener who’s Australian-Open-bound after her second consecutive wild card playoff win. This week, Keys easily bested two top 50 players at the Aria International and hasn’t stopped yet. Keys will now face Li in her first ever WTA Quarterfinal. Oh, and did we mention that she’s only 17? Currently at her career high ranking of 135, we say the sky’s the limit for this young player. Read our Q&A below and be on the lookout for her at the Australian Open!
Wilson: Congratulations on winning the Australian Open wildcard playoff for the second year in a row. We’re excited to see you in action! What are you most looking forward to about returning to Australia this year?
Madison Keys: Well firstly I’m just excited to be going Down Under again. This will be my 3rd time and I’m excited to see Australia again. I’m also looking forward to being in another Slam. It’s always super exciting being in a Grand Slam and I’m very happy that all my hard work has helped me to win this great opportunity of being in main draw.
W: Any differences in your strategy going into the tournament between this year and last year?
MK: Yes, my biggest goal is to win more than 3 games and not get my butt kicked! HAHA.. I feel like I am going to be more prepared for this tournament than I was last year. The last season has really helped me get a better idea of how I want to play and how to put my game together which hopefully will help me complete my goal.
W: You have a really strong serve. Any tips for young players looking to improve their serve speed and accuracy?
MK: My biggest tip is to practice…a lot. Just taking a basket out and putting up targets can really help, and you can do it by yourself.
W: What are your professional goals for 2013?
MK: My biggest goal for 2013 is to make it into the main draw of a grand slam on my ranking. Other than that goal I just really want to keep improving on what I’ve been working on and to be happy with how I played and competed after each match that I play, win or lose.
W: How about personal? Any New Years Resolutions?
MK: I will keep my room cleaner and be nicer to my sisters…haha jk. (that was for my mom) For real my biggest resolution is to finish up my senior year with good grades in 2013.
W: On the long flight to Oz, what will you do to kill the boredom? Do you watch movies, sleep, read, etc?
MK: On the flight I’m going to read (already downloaded 4 books on my Kindle) and watch lots of movies. Pitch Perfect (a new personal favorite movie of mine) will be watched at least once. I also plan on sleeping as much as possible, when we get there it will be early morning, so I’m going to have to stay up all day.