Runner-up at last year's U.S. Open, Keys is enjoying her best run at Roland Garros and up next for the 13th seed is a final-four meeting against compatriot Sloane Stephens, to whom she lost in the Flushing Meadows final.
She continued: "I think the biggest thing is just staying so level-headed after being down a break in the first".
"I don't think you have to be mean in order to win matches". "I knew that every time you go into a match there are a little bit of nerves that go into it".
Keys needed a tie-break to take the first set, with her power and accuracy eventually too much for Putintseva during a brutal set point.
Keys believes managing expectations and nerves will be the key for her moving forward at Roland Garros and it starts with taking on a tricky opponent in Putintseva, who is through to her second quarter-final in Paris.
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Marco Cecchinato became the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 40 years after defeating former champion Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-6 (4) 1-6 7-6 (11) at the French Open on Tuesday.
It had been a very solid first set from Stephens after facing those early break points, and she continued to motor early on in the second, breaking Keys early on and once again looking very solid on serve. Whilst for Kasatkina this is a first quarterfinal at a Grand Slam, her best previous result being reaching the fourth round in NY a year ago, Stephens is a Major victor.
"When we get on the court, it's time to compete but before that, we are not going to be weird and awkward and make it weird for each other", Stephens said after her quarterfinal defeat of Daria Kasatkina.
Across the way at Court Suzanne Lenglen, No. 5 del Potro got distracted by a spectator right before a key double-fault, then marched over toward the stands to try to figure out who it was. Putintseva got one back but Keys wrapped up the set on her fourth set point.
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Keys was overmatched in the U.S. Open final against Stephens, but says it will be different this time.
As for Keys, she's a co-leader in fastest serve (120.5 mph).
"I think that I have done really well, but I'd like to keep going", she said. "She was, like, "You were nervous?'" Keys said on Sunday, referring to Stephens" narrow victory over Camila Giorgi in the third round.
In an extraordinary post-match press conference, Djokovic then said he may even skip Wimbledon where he has been champion three times.
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"I feel happy. I feel good".