Tennis queen Madison Keys on stress, diet and training
Splashed all over the news is this weeks quarter finals at the Australian Open – and we were lucky enough to snag a chat with finalist Madison Keys, the first American woman to crack the top 10 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings since Serena Williams broke through in 1999. Yup, she’s a total girl boss. “When I was very young, I decided I wanted to be a professional tennis player and that’s all I wanted to do. So I went pro at 14, and somehow made it past that gap. As soon as I picked up a racket I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life,” says Madison.
What’s this humble lady got to say about the pressure of being an international superstar tennis player? “I think the biggest thing to remember is that is tennis. It’s not solving all of the world’s problems. It’s not end of the world if you lose a match. I think I got very wrapped up in winning and losing and taking things very hard. I think some of my junior losses, I was so sad for days afterwards. And now, it’s ‘if you play well, great; if you don’t, go work on it.’ I think it’s remembering that, while yes, it’s what I do as my career, at the end of the day, enjoy it. Have fun. It’s such a privilege to get to do this, so just remember to breathe and have fun.” This woman has some seriously inspirational stress management techniques going on, if you ask us.
Check out our interview with Madison below – where we talk all things stress, diet and training.
There’s always challenges along the way… having a wrist surgery is a challenge as well, but you’ve obviously overcome those challenges – you’re in the top 20 at 22 years of age, ranked 18th in the world, you’ve made a US open final – things are going pretty well and you’ve got so many years ahead of you.
“Yeah, I’ve done a lot of things that I wanted to do, I was top 10, I made a final in a grand slam. Every time I put a little check mark next to one of those goals that I’ve had, I just add something new. I’m just taking it day by day. My biggest thing is, I just want a healthy 2018.”
You are known for pretty powerful game on the court, so what are some of your ‘most wanted’ habits when it comes to training and pursuing that goal and being the best?
“I definitely have to spend a lot of time in the gym. But the biggest thing for me is taking the time off the court to make sure I’m stretching and I’m doing all of the little things that are very boring and annoying but they keep you healthy at the end of the day.”
How do you destress after a match? Do you have tips for us regular folk on how to keep cool under pressure?
“If it’s an especially tough day, I like to go home and watch Netflix to take my mind off things. Even sometimes I’ll just call my mum and talk to her about my day and hear what she has to say. I feel like talking about my stress always helps, and I immediately feel better after talking or venting.”
How strict is your diet when you’re training?
“I try to be really good about it. Obviously it’s tough sometimes to always be living a healthy lifestyle. But I think part of having a successful healthy lifestyle is allowing yourself to have treats sometimes and little things like that – everything in moderation.”
We know you’re wearing the Nike Vapor X at the Australian Open – what are you loving about the shoe?
“I love the shoe – like I said, it’s super light-weight and I feel very comfortable when changing direction. But, I specially love the colours. I get to wear the black and the red ones. I’m very excited about them, I’ve gotten lots of compliments.”