“We were playing really well and James Blake was our captain and he looks at us like: ‘Why don’t you guys play together?’” Keys said. “And I was like, 'I have no idea.’”
Townsend, searching for a strong partner in her first Grand Slam event as a mother, reached out to Keys a few weeks before the tournament to solidify the pairing.
Great friends, great tennis
When they get on court, Keys is happy to hand the leadership reins over to Townsend.
“I would say I just do whatever Taylor tells me,” she said with a wry smile. “I think that’s a winning strategy, to ask Taylor what to do.”
Townsend has never been beyond the semi-finals at a Grand Slam before; Keys is into her first quarter-final in doubles. The pair are hoping that their good vibes translate into more wins in Paris.
“I think we have really good communication and I think that it makes it fun," Townsend said. "It’s almost like a puzzle because we haven’t played with each other, this is match three or four, so we are figuring things out as we are playing other opponents and having to figure out what we need to do to adjust our games against them; it’s kind of like a learning experience for both of us, during the match.”