American Jennifer Brady says improving her physical fitness and mental toughness were the keys to helping her breakthrough and reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final at the US Open on Sunday. The 25 year old Brady scored a 6-1, 6-4 win over former US Open champion Angelique Kerber to reach the last eight of a major for the first time on Sunday and said she was happy to close out the match in straight sets during her press conference in New York.
"She was making a lot more balls in the second set. I think maybe I wasn't as aggressive as I was in the first set. I felt like I came out and played really good tennis in the first set, exactly how I wanted to. I was expecting things to be like that.
I wasn't really surprised. You know, I tried to just stay present and not focus on the end result. You know, I definitely did want to close it out in two sets, because I wasn't sure, maybe my leg was bothering me a little bit, I couldn't serve as well.
But, you know, I was happy with how I closed it out at the end."
Jennifer Brady on the reasons behind her success in 2020
The 25 year old Brady, the first college player since Gigi Fernandez in 1994 to make the quarterfinals of the US Open, had reached the fourth of the Australian Open and US Open in 2017 but says has matured since then.
"I don't think I was really ready physically or mentally to make the fourth round of two slams in one year. Definitely came as a huge surprise to me. Honestly, I didn't really believe that I belonged at that level or that it was achievable for me.
So to be honest, I wasn't ready mentally or physically before it. And, you know, this year, starting the beginning of the year, I felt like a different player. I'm not putting expectations on myself but also not surprised when I'm doing well at a tournament.
For me, physically and mentally, I think I have improved on both aspects. I have gotten a lot fitter. I'm able to, you know, maintain my intensity from the beginning of the match all the way until the end." Having just won her first WTA Tour title at the Top Seed Open in Lexington last month, Jennifer Brady says seeing so many different players win a Grand Slam title on the women's tour in recent years has made made several others believe they can do the same.
"I think right now the women's game is so deep.
Anybody can win a major. It's just a matter of, you know, how the draw really pans out. I think, you know, you had Sonya Kenin this year, won Australian Open, and I know her very well. You know, I think seeing the younger players or other players, you know, winning majors and not just the same person, I think it brings a different fire or fuel for other players, as well. You know, they see that and they're like, Okay, if they win, I can also win."