MELBOURNE, Australia — Madison Keys added another Grand Slam victory to her growing list of accomplishments.
The Rock Island native carded a 6-4, 7-6 (7-0) victory over Australia's Casey Dellacqua in the first round of the Australian Open at Margaret Court Arena on Monday. It was Keys' second career Grand Slam victory and first since the 2011 U.S. Open.
"I came off (last) year feeling really confident, having a good idea of how I wanted to play," Keys told USA Today. "So I think my game is kind of coming together a little bit better. I'm kind of understanding a little bit."
Still a month shy of her 18th birthday, Keys marches into the Aussie Open second round against 30th-seeded Tamira Paszek, of Austria. Date and time of that match have yet to be determined.
Keys earned the Aussie Open spot by winning a USTA wildcard playoff for a main-draw berth.
The straight-set first-round win took less than 90 minutes as Keys overcame a pair of double faults with seven aces. Keys did commit 35 unforced errors, but won 76 percent of her (29 of 38) first-serve points.
Keys continued her string of recent play, capitalizing on a quarterfinal run at the Sydney International last week. She exited the tournament with a 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 loss to sixth-ranked Li Na of China.
Included in the run were victories over the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova and China's Zheng Jie. Those two were ranked 17th and 42nd, respectively, in the world.
According to the USA Today, those were Keys' first top 50 wins of her career.
Keys currently is ranked 135th in the world.
"I kind of want to try to keep what I have going," Keys told USA Today. "I just want to be happy with how I'm playing. So far, I am."
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.