(August 31, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Ana Ivanovic was almost at the precipice of defeat as Christina McHale was serving for the match at 6-4, 5-4 when the Serb switched the momentum. Ivanovic was the dominant force thereafter and closed out the match in three sets her opponent for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday to move into the round of 16 at the US Open.
“I’m very pleased with the effort,” Ivanovic said, “that I managed to win the match today because it wasn’t easy. Obviously I wasn’t at the top of my game.”
“I really struggled to find my feet around the ball in the beginning of the match. But I really tried to swing freely and get myself back into that match.
“You know, played great game to break her when she was serving for the match. That kind of gave me confidence. I tried to move forward and be aggressive even when I was making mistakes.”
Despite the loss, McHale looked at the good about reaching the third round of the US Open after battling a stomach virus and then mononucleosis since last summer from which she is now recovered.
“There’s definitely positives I can take from this whole tournament,” the New Jersey native said. “I’ve had some exciting matches here. I mean, obviously when the match is so close like that, it’s disappointing to lose. But I think at the end of the day it’s a lot of positives.”
Last year when I played the Open, I didn’t know yet that I had mono,” McHale said. “Yeah, I didn’t know how long the recovery was going to be. I had no idea.
“But, no, this year I did feel like the couple of days before, I spent a week here practicing, I did feel like I was starting to find my rhythm more. I felt like I was hitting the ball better.
“But you never know how it’s going to go. I mean, I think, you know, I’m pleased with how I played in these three matches. But losing so close, you always feel like you could have done more.”
Ivanovic will match-up against Victoria Azarenka in the round of 16.
“It’s going to be tough, no matter,” said the Serb. “But I really want to take on that challenge as a positive thing.”