(August 29, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Since last summer Christina McHale has battled a stomach virus and a bout with mononucleosis which pushed her off the tour and made her ranking slip to as low as 114 in the world.
On Thursday, after gutting out a win over the Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in a two-hour and 47-minute match, the New Jersey native seemed to celebrate with joy as though she just won a title.
“I love that court, Grandstand,” McHale said. “You really feel how close the crowd is. I mean, I’ve played a couple matches now a couple years on that court. I’ve always felt a tremendous amount of support from the crowd. Yeah, it was a special touch at the end. The box was so close I could go over and hug my family and friends.”
“It’s definitely really exciting. I mean, especially with the way this year has gone, I mean, if I could have chosen one tournament to have some wins at, it definitely would have been the US Open,” McHale said in response of a question to her celebration after match point. “I’m really excited to be on to the third round.”
“Last year around this time is when I got sick,”
McHale continued. “I remember playing that match, feeling really low in energy. Even though we were having really long rallies and it was a long match, I felt physically fine. It’s really nice that I feel like I’m back to where I was physically before I got sick.”
McHale can’t relax in the next round – she’ll face former No. 1 and 13th seed Ana Ivanovic for a place in the round of 16.
“It’s going to be another tough match,” McHale said. “I think I’m going to need to, you know, play consistent like the way I’ve been playing. Hopefully get a lot of first serves in. I think that will be another key part.”
“I think with each match I feel like I’m hitting the ball better, I’m serving better. I think, yeah, I’m starting to build a little bit more momentum in the matches. So hopefully I can keep building on that for the next one.”