NEW YORK – US teenager Christina McHale toppled eighth-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli in straight sets on Wednesday to reach the third round of the US Open tennis championships.
McHale, a 19-year-old from New Jersey ranked 55 in the world, won 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. She is playing in her eighth major.
McHale finished with a flourish, firing an ace past Bartoli, a French Open semi-finalist this year, on match point.
“I’m so excited to have beaten a player like Marion, especially to have it happen here at the US Open,” McHale said.
She defeated world number one Caroline Wozniacki earlier this year, but said the fact that this victory saw her make it to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time made it special.
“I think they’re different wins,” she said. “That was a good win for me, too, but to have it happen here at the Grand Slam is exciting for me.”
McHale said one concern she had in the match was to maintain her focus once she took the lead in the second set.
“I couldn’t play, like, any sloppy games,” she said. “I had to try and compete really hard in the second set because I knew she was going to try even harder, too, to get the second set because she lost the first.
“When I went from 3-0 to 3-2, I was like ‘C’mon Christina, don’t let it get back to 3-All.’
“That game was a big game to get it to 4-2.”
Bartoli said the youngster was just too good for her on the day.
“I think I played a fairly good match, but she deserved to win. She was on fire. She played the perfect match. She moved so well – I had to hit five or six winners to win one point.”