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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Updated: June 26, 1:22 PM ET
Madison Keys digging life overseas

By Greg Garber
ESPN.com

WIMBLEDON, England -- From the first ball of her warm-up on Court 2, Madison Keys knew she wasn't back home in Florida.

"I missed it into the net," she said. "Someone next to me was like, 'Yes, come on.' That's never happened before."

Madison Keys
It wasn't a great day for Americans, but Madison Keys showed off her potential.

Actually, the 18-year-old had never played a main-draw match here at Wimbledon, and Tuesday she was up against Great Britain's No. 2 player, Heather Watson -- and the rabid, pro-Brit crowd.

Keys was undaunted, however, and decked Watson 6-3, 7-5 to advance to a second-round meeting with No. 30 seed Mona Barthel. The second-youngest player in the WTA's top 100 did not look like a neophyte, breaking Watson's serve five times.

Unlike some American players, who tend to treat Europe like Siberia, Keys has embraced the spring/summer circuit over here. After losing to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals in Charleston in early April, Keys has played in seven tournaments, from Spain to Italy to Belgium to France and now England. Along the way, she beat No. 5-ranked Li Na and saw her ranking rise 25 spots to No. 52.

"I'm going on like nine weeks in Europe," Keys said. "So hopefully want to stay here as long as possible, but also going to be very happy when I go home."

Tiebreakers are backbreakers for Querrey

Sam Querrey fired 36 aces and broke Bernard Tomic's serve twice as often as the Australian broke his, but still fell 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3.

It was a swift exit for the No. 2-ranked American man, who reached the third round here a year ago and played the second-longest men's singles match in Wimbledon history.

Tomic, 20, reached his first (and only) Grand Slam quarterfinal here two years ago. He next plays U.S. veteran James Blake, who was a convincing 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 winner over Thiemo de Bakker.

Blake, now 33 -- yes, he's even older than Roger Federer -- was once a top-5 player; after some serious knee issues, he is ranked No. 87.

"I don't worry about it too much," Blake said. "I know I can beat a top-5 player. I'm capable of doing that on any given day. The difference between 87 and top 5 is the consistency. I haven't put it together week in, week out where I'm playing at that high of a level all the time.

"But that doesn't mean I'm not capable of playing it. And right now my body has taken a little more of a toll the last 10, 13 years I have been on tour. I don't feel as perfect every day going out there. So there's going to be days it might not be pretty, but I still feel like the next day I turn around I can be the top guy."

Mixed results

Nine American men and five women played first-round matches Tuesday. Of those 14, six won their matches and eight lost.

The winners: No. 1 seed Serena Williams def. Mandy Minella 6-1, 6-3; Madison Keys def. Heather Watson, 6-3, 7-5; James Blake def. Thiemo de Bakker, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2; Denis Kudla def. James Duckworth 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1; Alison Riske vs. Romina Oprandi 6-7 (5), 7-5, 3-1 (retired); Bobby Reynolds def. Steve Johnson 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4.

The losers: No. 28 Jeremy Chardy def. Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; Urszula Radwanska def. Mallory Burdette 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-2; No. 7 Angelique Kerber def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-4; Jimmy Wang def. Wayne Odesnik 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in 3 hours, 53 minutes, the longest match of the tournament; Igor Sijsling def. Alex Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and Bernard Tomic def. Sam Querrey 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3; Grega Zemlja def. Michael Russell 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-1; Bobby Reynolds def. Steve Johnson 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4.

Et cetera

Laura Robson, the British No. 1, upset No. 10 seed Maria Kirilenko, 6-3, 6-4 … Philipp Kohlschreiber, the No. 16 seed, walked off the court three games into the fifth set of his match against Ivan Dodig. He was "tired and slow in the head," Kohlschreiber said, explaining he has had the flu for the past three days.