ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — The last time Madison Keys was on a Grand Slam stage, her first major final at the United States Open had ended in a bracing 6-3, 6-0 defeat and an embrace from the new champion, her friend Sloane Stephens.
As Keys made her way underneath the stands of Arthur Ashe Stadium after the match, she was also comforted by Kim Clijsters, a four-time Grand Slam champion who did not claim her first major title until her fifth final.
“She came up to me afterwards and was like, ‘I get it, I understand every emotion, every feeling you’re going through, it took me four,’” Keys said. “To have that right after was really nice and special, especially from someone whom I’ve looked up to for so long.”
As days and weeks passed, Keys came to terms with the defeat and began to focus more on her achievement of winning six matches at the tournament.
Source: The New York Times