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US teen Keys beats No. 30 Barthel at Wimbledon

June 27, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Their match in Miami more than a year ago was so short and one-sided that Madison Keys’ opponent doesn’t even remember it.

Keys’ goal in the rematch with Agnieszka Radwanska is to make a more lasting impression.

The 18-year-old from Rock Island, Ill., reached the third round in her Wimbledon debut with a 6-4, 6-2 victory Thursday over 30th-seeded Mona Barthel of Germany.

Next up is Radwanska, the Wimbledon runner-up last. Keys, however, remembers her better for the 6-1, 6-1 shellacking she received in Miami in 2012.

“A frustrating day,” Keys called the second-round matchup. “I think in the second set I was just happy to not get bageled. Definitely going to try to do better this time.”

Every bit as telling was what Radwanska had to say about the match, which was, well, basically nothing. Asked first in a post-match TV interview about having played Keys before, Radwanska said she hadn’t. Asked again in another interview, she said, “still can’t remember that match, to be honest. I thought I never played her before.”

“But I saw her in tournaments this year, and I think she’s improved a lot,” Radwanska said. “She’s playing good tennis right now.”

This is the second time in the past three Grand Slam tournaments that Keys has made it to the third round. She lost at that stage at the Australian Open in January.

In her match Thursday against Barthel, she saved the only break point she faced while converting 3 of 10 on Barthel’s serve.

She said she’s starting to feel comfortable on grass.

“I just like how big serves and big forehands are rewarded,” she said. “I think it’s just different than other surfaces.”

Next, she finds out if a meeting with Radwanksa on a different surface will be a bit more memorable.

“I’m going in thinking I want to do my best and I want to be happy with how I played when I come off the court,” Keys said. “That’s really the only thing that matters.”

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