Madison Keys: Today Was A Massive Mishandle Of Nerves - UBITENNIS
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Madison Keys: Today Was A Massive Mishandle Of Nerves

Madison Keys talked about the reasons for her shock loss, why some upsets are not that shocking and the example of Serena Williams.



Madison Keys was understandably upset with her performance after she endured a shocking third-round loss to World No.120 Evgeniya Rodina.

“Honestly I think today was a massive mishandle of nerves,” she said. “I felt good, was up 5-2, and then I felt my mind go away and played a couple of sloppy games.”

“All of a sudden it was 5-All, and that’s when nerves hit me. Then it was just kind of dealing with that.”

The American continued, “When you’re down a set and 4-0, it’s a lot easier to think, ‘I probably should play better now and do that’.”

“And then when I was down in the third set I would bring my level up and then go up to serve and get nervous. I just didn’t play well enough when it mattered.”

Keys admits she let her mind wander

When Keys was asked why felt nervous on court, she explained that she had started looking ahead to her next match.

“For the first time in a long time, I came in here the other day and was like, ‘So if you win, then you play this person’,” she said. “And I think that kept being in the back of my mind.”

“I think that’s something that with experience I have to be able to completely push aside and not think about. But I don’t think I did a great job of that today.”

Keys was due to face Serena Williams in the last 16 if the older American beat Kristina Mladenovic, but the World No.11 does not think the identity of her opponent was the important thing.

“I don’t even think it’s because it was Serena or anything like that,” she said. “I think it really could have been anyone. But I just wasn’t thinking about my match right now in that moment.”

“I think I literally could have played anyone the next round, but the fact that I felt my mind go there made it really hard to be play really well, be super-focused and then have to kind of reset everything and find my timing and all of that in the middle of a match.”

Although the American was thinking ahead to her potential last 16 encounter, she insists she was not looking any further ahead than that.

Keys to develop a plan to manage her dips

Keys also feels it is unfair to label some of the top ten seed’s defeats at Wimbledon 2018 as upsets.

“I think a lot of those matches were actually really tough matchups – especially some of the early rounds,” she said.

“I don’t necessarily think that was an easy match or an upset. There are lots of really good players right now and if one player has a slightly bad day and the other player has a really on day, then it can go either way.”

While Keys may be right that some of the top seeds’ defeats should not be considered shock results – Ekaterina Makarova’s win over Caroline Wozniacki for example – her loss to Rodina was definitely an upset.

Moreover, to avoid suffering a similar fate in the future, the young American should probably follow the example of her phenomenally successful compatriot Serena Williams.

“It’s definitely been a challenge that I have had to deal with where all of a sudden I’m the one that’s supposed to win and people are playing with nothing to lose and playing their best tennis,” Keys said.

“A lot of times you just have to weather the storm and play better on those big points, and the fact (that Serena has) basically done that her whole career is really impressive.”

She continued, “I think the biggest thing (I need to do) is have a plan for when I feel (the dip) happening and catch it quicker. It’s a lot easier to catch it if it’s two points and not two games.”

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities



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A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.



(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.


Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.


The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.


No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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