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McHale advances to first tour final

March 2, 2014 10:27 AM
Christina McHale improved to No. 55 in the world after reaching her first tour final, in Acapulco, Mexico.

By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

Young American Christina McHale advanced to her first career WTA final Saturday at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL in Acapulco, Mexico – and nearly took home her first tour title as well.

McHale fell to 2014 Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, in a final that ran 2 hours, 54 minutes, drawing back from down 2-5 in the third set to come within a point of forcing the set to 5-5.

“It was really nice to make my first WTA final here,” McHale told wtatennis.com. “I think this tournament is one of the nicest ones on the tour. It's a great tournament and the fans are amazing – they're really into it.

“I was happy with the way I fought today. I think Dominika played really well – I was just trying to stay with her. But hopefully there will be more finals to come for me.”

In reaching the final, the 21-year-old from Teaneck, N.J., took out opponents young – 20-year-old Frenchwomen Kristina Mladenovic and Carolina Garcia in the first round and semifinals, respectively – and old – 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm in the round of 16. She also knocked off No. 3 seed Kaia Kanepi, the No. 26 player in the world, in the quarterfinals.

With the result, McHale improved from No. 70 to No. 55 in the latest world rankings. Her career high is No. 24, achieved in 2012, when she reached the third round at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.




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