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NEWS

Keys, Vandeweghe win maiden tour titles

June 21, 2014 01:17 PM
After winning the title in Eastbourne, Madison Keys is projected to break into the Top 30 in Monday's WTA rankings.
CoCo Vandeweghe celebrates after winning her first career tour title in her second final.

By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

Two big-serving young American women won their first career titles on Saturday in a pair of Wimbledon tune-up events, with 19-year-old Madison Keys completing an impressive run through the draw at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, England, and 22-year-old qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe winning easily at the Topshelf Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

Keys, who upset world No. 7 Jelena Jankovic in the opening round, edged No. 9 Angelique Kerber in the final, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Vandeweghe, meantime, easily defeated Zheng Jie, 6-2, 6-4, in the final after qualifying for the event and posting earlier wins over 2014 French Open quarterfinalist Garbiñe Muguruza and No.8 seed Klara Koukalova.

The dual crowns mark the first time two American women captured tour titles in the same week since 2002, when Venus Williams and Monica Seles won in Antwerp and Doha, respectively.

"I'm so incredibly happy," Keys said afterward, according to WTA.com. "It's one of those things where when you're training and you don't want to be there, you're tired or everything hurts, you think of this moment and it really helps push you through all of the hard times.”

The 5-foot-11 Keys hammered 60 winners in the victory, including 17 aces, to offset 48 unforced errors. She also won 14 of 19 points at the net. With the victory, the Illinois native is expected to break into the Top 30 for the first time in her career.

"My serve was definitely a weapon today, and it really helped me the entire time," Keys said. "She raised her level so much in the second set and started playing really well, and I really had to get more aggressive and not be as passive. After that second set I just went for it, and it worked today. I have always loved grass. To win my first title on grass is just an amazing experience."

Vandeweghe expressed similar sentiments after her breakthrough win. The California native had played in one previous WTA final, losing to Serena Williams at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Stanford, Calif., in 2012.

On Saturday, she simply overpowered Zheng, winning 27 of 28 points on her first serve and never facing a break point. In all, Vandeweghe finished with 81 aces in seven main draw matches, including 19 in her first-round win over Marina Erakovic.

"I was trying not to think about it being a final today,” Vandeweghe said. “I got the first set and I thought to myself, 'One set to the good, one more to go, try and get the early break now and keep the pressure on her.' I was really just thinking about it step by step, just like how I would play in any match."

The two American champions now turn their attention to the start of Wimbledon on Monday. Keys opens against another promising young player, Monica Puig from Puerto Rico, while Vandeweghe gets a rematch with Muguruza, who is seeded No. 27.

 

 

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