Madison Keys of the United States hits a return during the women's singles semi-final match against Naomi Osaka of Japan, at the 2018 US Open in New York, the United States, Sept. 6, 2018. Madison Keys lost 0-2. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
By sportswriter Spencer Musick
WUHAN, China, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- World No. 18 Madison Keys opened up on a wide range on subjects at the ongoing Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open here on Monday.
Her remarks came after an opening 6-3, 6-3 win against Chinese qualifier Wang Yafan in their first-round meeting.
Keys, whose powerful serve and signature aggressive forehand powered her to victory over Wang, said she felt good about her performance.
"Overall pretty happy with how I played today. It's always tough to play someone who not only, you know, [it's her] home tournament, but also has had a couple of wins on these courts.
"I was really happy. I think other than maybe a couple points here or there if I'm nitpicking, overall pretty happy," Keys said.
Keys, who has suffered both stinging defeats and hard-fought wins over the course of 2018, admitted that she had faced challenges but said she is proud of her form in the tournaments where she had done well.
"I think there's been a lot of things that have happened this year where I haven't been able to have a super consistent year. But I feel like, for the most part, when I've been playing tournaments, I've been doing pretty well, I've been having good runs," Keys remarked.
Keys also opened up about the problems raised in the controversial U.S. Open Final match between Serena Williams and Japanese Naomi Osaka, saying that the issue of sexism in the sport is something that needs to be looked at.
Williams was penalized and fined for her verbal abuse of umpire Carlos Ramos during her U.S. Open final loss to Osaka.
Williams defended her actions, arguing that men and women players were treated differently for the same violations.
"I think that the whole situation, it was extremely unfortunate that a match was going the way that it was going, especially for Naomi, to be playing so well, be in the final, then [for] all of that to happen.
"It was just really sad watching it all unfold. I think we can maybe look at past things and see how other situations were handled, specifically in the U.S. Open, which kind of raises some eyebrows. I think we should probably look at it more closely and see if there is a bigger issue. If there is, it's something that needs to be addressed," Keys said.
Keys also spoke to Xinhua about the issue of coaching from the stands that was raised by the US Open final. Her remarks came after opponent Wang was issued the same violation and warning given to Williams in New York.
"I think it's something that we can have a discussion about, it's obviously a big topic after the women's final. I think it is one of those things that over time it can be something that changes. And I think there should be a strict rule, on, if we have it we have it, if we don't we don't," Keys stated.
Keys faces World No. 3 Angelique Kerber in round two, and says she will use her past wins against the German as material to draw on as she works out tactics:
"It's a tough match. It's always a tough match. She is someone that I've played a lot. I've played her, I think twice already. I was able to get a win in Cincinnati this year. So I can kind of go back and look at that and see where I did well, and reasons she's beaten me in the past, and I can have a good game plan," Keys concluded.