Keys, Watson off and running in Birmingham

Madison Keys and Heather Watson both got off to winning starts at the Aegon Classic Birmingham on Monday.

Rain delayed the start of the tournament by several hours, and only three first-round matches were able to be completed on the day.

America's Keys was in action first up, making her 2016 grass court debut by beating Timea Babos 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes.

An accomplished player on grass who reached the last eight at Wimbledon last year, Keys admitted afterwards that she was still adapting to the new surface.

"I think for the most part, I played pretty well. I think I started off really well, and then there's definitely some bad moments in there," Keys said.

"First match on grass is always really tough. She's a really good player on grass, especially serving-wise. So it's always tough to get a read returning. So overall, I was happy I was able to win, but definitely have some things to work."

Watson, meanwhile, thrilled the local fans in attendance by overcoming Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5, hitting one less winner than her Italian opponent, but also 22 less enforced errors.

Giorgi's error-strewn performance saw her produce a whopping 29 unforced errors, never allowing her to get a foothold in the match.

She still had her chances, particularly in the second set, but couldn't convert.

The only other match of the day saw Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6(2) 6-1.

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