BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Madison Keys showed her ability to make an impact on the new grass court season with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Timea Babos on Monday in the first round of the Aegon Classic.
The 21-year-old Floridian, described last year as a future world number one by Serena Williams, moved swiftly into a 5-2 lead against a Hungarian opponent who beat her in the Wimbledon warmup event two years ago.
Keys then faltered while trying to serve out for the set, and trailed 3-0 in the tiebreaker.
“I was rushing too much,” Keys said. “But after that I got a read on her serve and served better myself.
The combination saw her ease through to the second round of the tournament in central England.
“I’m more confident after the clay court season when I learnt how to figure stuff out better,” she said, referring to a sequence in Rome where she won a semifinal against Garbine Muguruza, who shortly afterward became the French Open champion.
“I would like to think I can win a trophy or two, but the main thing for me is to focus on consistency.”
Keys could face Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, in the…