The 23-year-old athlete tells us how she works out when she only has a few minutes, plus how setting small goals helps her stick with her routine.

By Cassie Shortsleeve
Photo: Fred Lee / Getty Images

With the Australian and French Opens behind us, summer marks the middle point of tennis' grand slam season. And right now, all eyes are on the ladies.

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) boasts some of the top athletes in the sport: Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, and 23-year-old Madison Keys-the first American woman to break into the top 10 world rankings since Serena did so in 1999 (and, BTW, Keys was just 21 at the time).

Ever since going pro at age 14 (!), Keys has been making waves in the industry. She was a finalist at the U.S. Open last year (losing to Stephens, her longtime friend) and she has big-name partnerships, including one with ACUVUE for the company's #SeeItThrough campaign, which inspires young women to set goals and persevere in tough times. At the end of the summer, Keys will compete at the U.S. Open again.

We caught up with the rising star to find out what it's like to face off against a friend, the best workout to do if you only have a few minutes, and the beauty staples every lady needs for sweaty workouts.

How She Keeps Competition Friendly

Sloane and I have been friends for so long-we've had high highs and low lows. We always remember that we were friends first and we will be friends in the end. But we both go out there and want to win. I think to myself: I'm going to do what I can to win today. We both appreciate that and know that at the end of the day we can walk off the court knowing that we have each other's backs. (Related: The Epic Comeback Story of How Sloane Stephens Won the U.S. Open)

How She Stays Mentally Strong

I make a little goal every day and work toward achieving it-even if it's the smallest little thing. Setting a goal, accomplishing it, and feeling good about yourself can help build confidence and perseverance. On those days when you don't want to get up, I think, I'm going to get through my entire practice without saying how tired I am or I try not to complain just because I was in a bad mood when I woke up. Even if it's not perfect and I slip up, I can catch myself and make myself of aware of where my mental space is at and move on. (Katie Dunlop is also in favor of the "micro goal.")

How She Sneaks In a Workout When She's Short On Time

Do some sort of circuit. Keep yourself going. If you only have 15 minutes and you spend 13 of those minutes doing something at a high intensity and you never stop moving, you get just as good of a workout in as if you had an hour. One of my go-tos is boxing. I love it. Even if it's just having someone hold the pads up and I can go at it-I enjoy that. I also enjoy cardio circuits that involve weights. I enjoy lifting weights more than I enjoy getting on the treadmill to run. (Try this cardio-strength interval workout.)

The Best Career Advice She's Ever Gotten

Enjoy the ride on the way up because the closer to the top you get, the more stressful it is. Lindsay Davenport told me that. And that has been the biggest thing for me-enjoying the moment and taking pressure off myself; remembering to have fun.

The Beauty Products She Swears By

Always put sunscreen on (I like La Roche-Posay), and if you're going to wear mascara, make sure it's waterproof. I am currently still on the hunt for a waterproof mascara that I'm in love with.

Her Favorite Body Part

I really love my legs. I literally need them for my job. They make me feel powerful, but also on top of that, I think they look really great. They make me feel really sexy.


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