EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — Madison Keys claimed the first title of her career on Saturday when she defeated Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to win the Aegon Championships.
Playing in her first final, the unseeded 19-year old is the first American to win the event since Chanda Rubin won back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003, and she is the youngest American to win a singles title since Vania King triumphed in Bangkok in October 2006.
It is the second defeat in the final for fifth-seeded Kerber, who fell to Tamira Paszek in 2012, and the third time she has lost a final this year after defeats in Sydney and Doha. She was seeking her first title came winning Linz in October 2013.
Keys’ win came after she fired 17 aces and struck a serve clocked at 126mph, the fastest this year on the WTA Tour and one that if confirmed would establish her as one of the top five fastest servers since records began in 1989.
Most of the rallies were short and just one break of serve decided the first two sets, with Keys breaking to lead 3-1 in the first and Kerber 2-0 in the second.
Kerber fought off two break points as she served out the second set, and games went with serve in the third until the dramatic 12th game. Kerber held two game points to take the set to a tiebreaker before Keys claimed victory on her fourth match point.
Later on Saturday in the men’s event, top-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet takes on defending champion and third-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
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