“It’s really not going to change much, because she’ll still be there,” Keys said. “I’m still going to text her every day, and she’s always going to be a part of my life.”
Keys knows it will not be easy to find a replacement with Davenport’s mixture of calm and confidence, and her pedigree as a Grand Slam champion.
“I always think that it’s always so great to have someone who’s been there,” Keys said. “Even as a male player, it’s different, it’s not the exact same. To have not only a female coach, but a female coach who’s done it before, it’s so different. It’s times like these where Lindsay has been in this exact situation, and she helps me manage the emotions and feelings.”
Keys will need to manage her emotions especially well in her match against Stephens, a close friend who clobbered her, 6-3, 6-0, in the U.S. Open final, their most recent meeting.
Keys, hampered and distracted by an adductor injury she had aggravated during the semifinals, acknowledged that she did not cope well with the circumstances.
“I think this time I’m going to expect those nerves and know that they’re going to come, but I’ll be a lot more clear and try to use the tactics that I have, instead of managing everything else,” she said. “It will be a more familiar feeling.”
Stephens called the U.S. Open final “the biggest moment of both of our careers,” before celebrating what both had achieved in Paris.