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Keys beats Kerber to conquer Eastbourne

ESPN staff
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Madison Keys triumphed on her fourth match point © Getty Images
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Madison Keys clinched the first WTA title of her career after beating Angelique Kerber 6-3 3-6 7-5 to win the Aegon International at Eastbourne.

Keys, 19, was playing in her first final and fired 17 aces to seal the title on her fourth Championship point. Keys also hit a serve at 126mph - the fastest on the circuit in 2014 and in the all-time top five.

After the pair shared the first two sets, it looked as though Keys was going to lose serve at 5-5 in the final set when trailing 0-30. However, the American held serve and went on to clinch victory in the following game as Kerber failed to save a fourth match point.

Keys, the youngest player ranked in the top 50, hit 60 winners in total to become the first teenager to win a WTA title since Caroline Wozniacki in New Haven in 2009.

Kerber suffers her second defeat in the final at Eastbourne after missing out on the title to Tamira Paszek in 2012, and is beaten in her third final this season.

"It's incredible to be able to win here," Keys said. "Hopefully there will be many more to come.

"It was a bit surreal playing in my first final, but all morning I tried to stay calm and not over-think it. My hands are still shaking, I'm really excited.

Kerber said on her defeat: "It's not easy when somebody is serving like she did the whole match, but I was trying, and I think I had some good returns, but it was tough to battle.

"Like I said before the match, she is really dangerous. She's young and she has a great talent, so for sure she'll be dangerous in the future.

"But I will take all the positive things from the week when I go to Wimbledon now, because I had some great matches here, and I'm feeling good on grass, so I'm looking forward to my next chance."

In the men's final, Feliciano Lopez defended his title after beating top seed Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-7(5) 7-5 in two hours and 13 minutes.

Lopez, who reached the final of Queen's last week, wins the fourth title of his career after denying Gasquet an 11th victory on the tour.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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