LONDON (Reuters) - Still buzzing from her first WTA title a few days ago, American teenager Madison Keys showed again why she is being tipped for a big future as she powered into Wimbledon’s second round on Tuesday.
Hurling down 25 clean winners, including seven aces, she had too much weaponry for Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig in a 6-3 6-3 win.
After winning the prestigious Eastbourne grasscourt tournament last week, large crowds wedged in around an outside court at the All England Club to watch the 19-year-old world No.30 - and they were not disappointed.
With the taste of success still fresh, the Florida-based player, who has clocked up the fastest serve on the women’s tour this year (126mph), said she is hungry for more of the same.
“It feels really good. There was definitely a moment on Saturday where I was like, this would be awesome if it happened every week,” she told reporters after the match, calling the title her “biggest milestone” to date.
The victory in Eastbourne prompted last year’s women’s champion Marion Bartoli to name Keys as a possible contender for the Wimbledon ladies single crown, while former world No.1 Chris Evert is another predicting big things from her.
Keys, who took up tennis aged four after watching Venus Williams playing at Wimbledon on television, is unfazed by the weight of expectation on her shoulders.
“We’re not really concerned with the country’s pressure,” she said, speaking about herself and the other young guns fingered for future U.S. success.
“I mean, we’re all just so focused on really figuring out our own games and being comfortable.”
After celebrating her Eastbourne win with a day of rest, Keys, the youngest player in the top 50, said she had no specific goal in mind for the year, other than learning how to utilize the array of shots at her disposal.
“I know it’s a boring answer, but it’s really just understanding my game better and feeling like every time I‘m out on the court I did my absolute best, and walking off the court and knowing that and being okay with that,” she said.
Keys will face no.31 ranked Klara Koukalova from the Czech Republic in the second round hoping for a win that would see her match last year’s run to the third round.
Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Martyn Herman