Madison Keys returned from a month layoff to defeat Nao Hibino 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of Wimbledon. The American needed just 67 minutes to reach the second round after being sidelined due to wrist surgery following the French Open.
Keys overcomes early first set deficit
It was an inauspicious start for Keys as she faced 15-40 in her first service game and a forehand winner from Hibino gave her a 2-0 lead. The momentum wouldn't last as Keys would immediately break back in the next game. After saving a break point, she broke for a second straight game to go out in front 3-2.
Neither player could get a firm grip on proceedings and Hibino broke again, combined with a hold, putting her ahead 4-3 in this seesaw opening set. Keys took a 15-40 lead on Hibino's serve in the ninth game and a forehand into the net gave the American a 5-4 lead. Serving for the set, Keys found herself down 15-30, but big serving got her out of trouble and put her a set to the good, winning 12 of the last 16 points.
Keys dominates second set
Carrying the momentum over from the first set, Keys broke in the opening game of the second set. At 15-40, the Japanese saved the first break point with a forehand winner, but when she pushed a backhand wide, the 17th seed was firmly in charge. Barely breaking a sweat on serve now, the American twice held emphatically for a 3-1 lead.
The outcome of the match was all but determined in the next game as Keys went up a double break for a 4-1 lead with a pair of stinging service winners. A love hold put her on the brink of victory. Hibino was able to hold, but that only delayed the inevitable, Keys serving out the match to 15, booking a second round date with dangerous Italian Camila Giorgi.
By the numbers
Keys was proficient at net, winning 10 of 14 points when venturing forward. Hitting 20 winners to just 14 unforced errors, the American converted five of her eight break point chances.