"Took me by surprise" - Madison Keys on not feeling anything good was in the cards for her in 2024 as she progresses to French Open 3R

Madison Keys is through to the third round of the 2024 French Open (Image Source: Getty)
Madison Keys is through to the third round of the 2024 French Open (Image Source: Getty)

Madison Keys recently reflected on her impressive turnaround during the 2024 claycourt season. The American, who is through to the third round of the French Open, said that her progress took her by surprise.

Keys is having a spectacular claycourt season. At the Madrid Open, the former World No. 7, who had never gone beyond the third round before, reached the semifinals this year. She followed it up with a quarterfinal showing at the Italian Open, losing to eventual champion Iga Swiatek both times.

Madison Keys’ biggest result came at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, where she won her first title on red dirt, beating compatriot and friend Danielle Collins in the final. At the ongoing French Open, she's through to the third round with victories over Renata Zarazua (6-3, 6-2) and Mayar Sheriff (6-0, 7-6 (7)).

When asked about her rich vein of form and whether she had an inkling that something good was on the horizon for her in 2024, the American said:

"No. It kind of took me by surprise," she said in her French Open press conference after winning the second round.
"Going into Madrid, I think I’d loss the first round five years in a row. Getting that first win was kind of, it felt really big for me. And then I just have tried to carry over all the momentum. But I was definitely not – not expecting it," she said.

It's worth noting that Madison Keys was late to the party this season. The American kicked off her campaign in Indian Wells in March, after spending months on the sidelines due to shoulder injury. She hailed her coach and fiancé, Bjorn Fratangelo, and the rest of her coaching team for their support.

"I have an amazing support group. They’ve been just amazing," she said. "And it was obviously really tough to miss the beginning of the year."
"I felt like I was trying to catch up with everyone and putting a little bit more stress on myself. But being able to just be really vulnerable and open with my support team and being able to kind of just lay it all out there and how I was feeling – they’ve been able to really help me through some tough times and just helped get my mind right and be the support that I need them to be," she added.

Madison Keys on aiming to go the distance at French Open 2024: "That's always the goal"

Madison Keys pictured at the 2024 French Open
Madison Keys pictured at the 2024 French Open

Madison Keys also said that she always aims big when it comes to Grand Slams.

The American has considerable experience in reaching the final stages, having been the runner up at the 2017 US Open, and having reached the semifinals on five other occasions – twice each at the Australian Open and the US Open, and once at the French Open (2018).

"I think I’d be lying if I said that the goal every single Slam isn’t to come in and try to win it. I’ve obviously been competitive in Slams before and I’ve gotten to those final rounds. That’s always the goal," she said in the aforementioned French Open press conference.

Keys added that despite the goal, she will take things one match at a time, which has always been her mantra.

"And I think the years that I’ve been able to go really far and do well in Slams, I’m really not focusing on that – I’m trying to just focus on the match ahead of me and continue to just focus on what’s gotten me into that position so far," she said.

The World No. 12 faces compatriot Emma Navarro for a spot in the final 16 on Saturday, June 1.

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