Following her straight-set loss to Anastasia Potapova on Tuesday in Dubai, Madison Keys has now broken even in her first two events of the season, and says she has some catching up to do.
The 26-year-old reached the second round of both Doha and Dubai, her first events since the French Open. Keys had been scheduled to play the Australian Open to start the season, but had to withdraw upon testing positive for COVID-19.
While saying she was "disappointed that [she] couldn't go to Australia," she has recovered and is back on tour.
“[I] just had super, super-mild symptoms, so I was really lucky,” Keys said in Doha after her 6-4, 6-1 opening round victory over sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic before falling to Maria Sakkari, 6-2, 6-2, in the second round. “I'm a little bit surprised with myself...but very happy to have the first match of my season like this."
In Dubai this week, the big-hitting Keys again won her first round easily before exiting against Potapova, 6-4, 6-3. She acknowledged that she still needs to build momentum following her delayed start to the season.
"It’s been tough," Keys said. "I definitely feel a little bit behind everyone else and trying to catch up, but I know that if I keep working on what I’ve been practicing and trying to implement that in matches then more matches will come."
A finalist in 2017 at the US Open, she is also a former Australian Open and French Open semifinalist. Ranked No. 19, Keys is entered to play the Miami Open.