NEW YORK, NY, USA - Madison Keys did not come away with the championship trophy after a disappointing loss to her close friend Sloane Stephens in the 2017 US Open final on Saturday, but she did leave the event as the epitome of class, and with renewed confidence after her two wrist surgeries.
Below are some of Keys' notable comments from her post-match press conference...
On what she learned about herself during the 2017 US Open:
"Obviously I didn't play my best tennis today. I'm really disappointed. But if you told me as I was getting on a plane to go have my second surgery that I could have a Grand Slam finalist trophy in my hands at the end of the year, I think I'd be really happy. I think I mostly learned that I'm a fighter. No matter what, I can figure things out. In a couple of days, I will be really happy, but right now still a little bit disappointed."
On what she would do differently:
"Win some more games." [smiling]
On her friendship with Sloane Stephens and the post-match moments with her:
"We have known each other for so long and we have been through so much that we wanted to share that moment with each other. To be able to share my first Slam experience with a really close friend when it's also her first Slam is a really special moment. Again, if there was - there's no one else in the world that would have meant as much as it did."
On if she's going to join Sloane at her celebration:
"Yeah, of course, I would 1000% go. She can buy me drinks, all of the drinks." [laughter]
On the emotions of the amazing event compared with the runner-up finish:
"It's obviously really conflicting. On top of that, I'm really sad for me, but I'm so happy for her. Like I said, I think drinks will help me through this tough time. [smiling] I think right now it's not the time to kind of try to sort of through my emotions, because I don't even know where I am. But I think tomorrow or even the next day, this last couple of weeks for me has been amazing, and I'm going to look back and be really happy, but right now it still really hurts."
On playing more freely going forward in her career:
"I think in a lot of ways the last couple of weeks for me has shown that when I kind of just relax and take the pressure off of myself good things can happen. So I'll definitely try to replicate that in the future."
On her goals in tennis:
"I think there's different levels of that. I have obviously been in the year-end Championships, made Top 10, so there are a lot of things I have done that kind of were goals of mine and being in a slam final was one of them. And so I kind of get to check that little box off, but definitely still going for walking out of here with a big smile on my face."
On the continuation of the amazing run for American women in tennis:
"I would need a crystal ball for that, which I do not have, but I think American tennis is in a really good place right now, and I think having Venus and Serena being the greats that they are and kind of, you know, leading the pack, I guess you could say, is really great. Obviously CoCo had an amazing week, and I think there is lots of good things to come."