Krejcikova will face somebody extra inclined to Plan A within the quarterfinals on Tuesday: the huge-hitting American Madison Keys, a longtime top-10 participant who arrived in Melbourne unseeded after struggling in 2021. But Keys, 26, has been exuding optimistic power within the Australian sunshine as she tries to resolve her career-long conundrum: the way to stay in charge of her feelings within the matches that matter most.
“My biggest mind-set change is just trying to enjoy tennis, take some of that just internal pressure that I was putting on myself,” Keys stated on Sunday. “It was honestly freezing me. I felt like I couldn’t play at all. Just taking that away and putting tennis into perspective: that it’s a sport, something that when I was little I enjoyed doing and loved doing it. I was letting it become this dark cloud over me. Just trying to push all of that away and leave that behind last year and start fresh this year.”
So far she is 10-1 in 2022, profitable a title in Adelaide earlier than arriving at Melbourne Park, the place she has overwhelmed a collection of high quality opponents together with the 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin; Wang Qiang of China; and Paula Badosa, a brand new arrival within the prime 10 from Spain whose hard-running athletic fashion was no match for Keys within the fourth spherical.
But staying calm will turn into more durable for Keys because the trophy will get nearer. For now, she has reached one Grand Slam occasion ultimate, dropping to her shut good friend Sloane Stephens in a one-sided match on the 2017 U.S. Open wherein Keys appeared to freeze.
“I think it obviously gets harder just because you get tighter, and it’s bigger moments,” Keys stated. “Even in the finals in Adelaide, I started incredibly nervous, and I felt that. Just acknowledging it, accepting it — not trying to fight it and pretend that it’s not happening — has been probably the best thing that I’ve done.”
Barty should clear her personal psychological hurdles if she continues to advance. No lady left within the draw has received an Australian Open singles title, and the one males’s champion remaining is Rafael Nadal, who faces a tricky quarterfinal with Denis Shapovalov, the flashy, left-handed Canadian who has overwhelmed him as soon as and who upset one of many match favorites, the third-seeded Alexander Zverev, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, on Sunday.