By Ossian Shine
PARIS (Reuters) – Madison Keys dispatched Katerina Siniakova to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open on Monday before revealing a little-known weapon in a top tennis player’s armoury — a mastery of boredom.
The American’s 6-2 6-4 victory over her Czech opponent was a more humdrum than hullabaloo affair, and afterwards Keys offered a nod to the power of routine.
“I mean, I think every aspect of life can be boring at times,” she smiled. “But… I think it would be exhausting if it was exciting all of the time.
“I think we’d all be dead as soon as we got onto the court. It’s life. Yes, we live this amazing life, we get to travel, we get to play matches, we have highs and lows, but we also have to go and practise every single day and do the exact same thing.
“Sometimes it can get monotonous but it’s also part of the routine and part of what gives you confidence when you go on the court.”
Next up the 24-year-old takes on Australian Ashleigh Barty in a match that promises to be anything but boring.
“It’s going to be a tough one,” Keys predicted. “I think she’s obviously playing well to make the quarter-finals, and I didn’t get to see how she played today, but I feel like clay actually suits her game really well with her kick serve and slice.
“I’m going to have to have a game plan set, to be ready for her.”
Once again, the power of homework, preparation – and all the other boring aspects of excellence – look set to come into play.
(Reporting by Ossian Shine; editing by Tony Lawrence)