By Anita Stahl

  • Garbiñe Muguruza, Madison Keys, Venus Williams, and Elise Mertens speak with media in San Jose
  • After turbulent Wimbledon, seeds are looking forward to fresh start at new site

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, USA – The WTA’s top players reflected on Wimbledon and what it takes to transition to the US Open Series at Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic All-Access media hour.

 

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The top-four seeds of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic sat down with press for the WTA All-Access Hour on Monday. As the tour’s top players get back onto hard-court, they took time to talk about how they recovered after Wimbledon and what they have done to get ready for the US Open Series.

After losing in the second round of Wimbledon, top seed Garbiñe Muguruza took time to relax and see family. She prepared for the hard-court swing with practices in Los Angeles the last week of July. She has had no trouble adjusting from grass back to hard-court:

“This is the surface where we play the most, so it’s a kind of home surface for us.” She had a bye in the first round and faces Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

 

Madison Keys at the Mubadal Silicon Valley Classic All Access Hour with media

Madison Keys at the Mubadal Silicon Valley Classic All Access Hour with media | Anita Stahl

As the last ever winner of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University, second seed Madison Keys is in an unusual position as the defending champion on courts she has never played on.

“It’s almost a new tournament so I think it’s starting over, but no matter what—even if we were still at Stanford—it would be the same thing. It’s a different year, a different tournament so I think every time you take the things that you’ve been good at this year and the things you’ve worked on and you just try to do your best at every tournament.”

Reflecting on her three set, third round Wimbledon loss to Evgeniya Rodina, Keys took away important lessons she hopes can help her moving forward:

“I think it was for me recognising what’s happening a lot sooner—instead of it taking three games to figure out where my head just went having two points go by. If I was able to catch myself a little bit sooner, then I wouldn’t have lost my rhythm and felt like everything went off the tracks so quickly […] Being able to recognize it, stop it quicker, and have something to fall back on is what I’ve tried to start doing.”

Keys will begin the defense of her title with a second-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic.

 

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Venus Williams at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Media All Access Hour

Venus Williams at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Media All Access Hour | Anita Stahl

Third seed Venus Williams, who played her first ever professional tournament in the Bay in 1994 when it was still in Oakland, expressed a relaxed perspective:

“I’m looking forward to making some new memories here and they got this new tennis facility everyone’s so proud of and the courts are hitting well and the people are excited and I’m excited so it’s all good.”

She faces the winner of Heather Watson and Claire Liu in round two.

 

Elise Mertens at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Media All Access Hour

Elise Mertens at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Media All Access Hour | Anita Stahl

The fourth seed, Elise Mertens, is making her Bay area debut this week. She was eager to get an early start in the US Open Series to comfortably adjust to the conditions and time zone. After her recent charge up the rankings, she brings new confidence to her game:

“Since my first WTA title, [my ranking] only went upwards and better and better and I think after Australia I kind of realized that I had it in me. You always have to believe in yourself; some times it’s a bit more difficult than other times but I believe that I can still do great stuff and go upwards.”

Mertens will face either American Ashley Kratzer or Alison Riske for her first match of this US Open Series.

The WTA Premier event, featuring Brits Johanna Konta and Watson, continues through Sunday.

READ MORE | Tough starts coming up for Konta & Watson in San Jose

Tough starts coming up for Konta & Watson in San Jose

 

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