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Keys captures second career title in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 19: Madison Keys of United States celebrates with the Maud Watson trophy after her victory in the Women's Singles Final against Barbara Strycova of Czech Republic on day seven of the WTA Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club on June 19, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for LTA)
June 19, 2016 10:58 AM

By Sally Milano, USTA.com

Madison Keys won her second career WTA title Sunday, defeating Barbora Strycova, 6-3, 6-4, in the final of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England.

Keys, who will break into the world's Top 10 for the first time after her perfomance this week in Birmingham, earned her third win of the season against Strycova. The American also defeated the Czech twice on clay last month, first in Madrid and then in Rome.

The 21-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., captured her first WTA title, also on grass, two years ago at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, England.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Keys told wtatennis.com after her Sunday victory. "I think getting this many matches in a row was a huge opportunity that I think that can definitely help me at Wimbledon. I obviously really love the surface, so the more I get to play on it, the happier I am."

After winning her first two matches in straight sets, against Timea Babos in the first round and Tamira Paszek in the second, Keys posted comeback wins in the next two rounds, battling back to defeat Jelena Ostapenko, 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-2, in the quarterfinals and No. 6 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), in the semifinals.

In Sunday's final, the American played near-perfect grass-court tennis, hitting 27 winners to 16 unforced errors and winning 13 of 18 points when coming to the net.

When the new WTA Rankings are released Monday, Keys will be the first American to make her Top 10 debut since Serena Williams did so 17 years ago, on April 5, 1999. It also will be the first time since September 2005 that three Americans will be ranked in the Top 10, as Keys will join Serena Williams, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, and Venus Williams, who is currently at No. 9.

In 2005, Lindsay Davenport was ranked No. 2, with Venus and Serena at No. 7 and No. 9, respectively.