Christina McHale (born May 11, 1992) is an American tennis player. Her highest-ever WTA rankings are No. 24 in singles and No. 35 in doubles.
Known for an aggressive baseline game, McHale has been recognized by The New York Times for her "booming" groundstrokes and fast footwork. She has reached the third round of all four Grand Slam tournaments, and has represented the United States in Fed Cup and Olympic competitions. In September 2016, McHale won her first WTA title at the Japan Women's Open.
Christina McHale was born in Teaneck, New Jersey. She is the daughter of John and Margarita McHale. Her father John is an Irish American, while her mother Margarita was born in Cuba. Her family lived in Hong Kong from the time she was three until she was eight, and she speaks a degree of Mandarin Chinese, along with fluent Spanish. In 2000, the McHale family moved back to the United States and bought a home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. In June 2006, she graduated from Upper School of the Englewood Cliffs Public Schools as the eighth-grade valedictorian.
At the age of 15, she left home to train at the USTA Training Center headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. She was homeschooled through Kaplan Online High School since age 15. Her sister Lauren played collegiate tennis at UNC-Chapel Hill and is married to ATP Tour player Ryan Harrison.
McHale began professional training at the USTA Training Center in Carson, California.
McHale was granted a wildcard into the main draw of the Australian Open, where she lost a three-set match in the first round to Jessica Moore. She also joined the US Fed Cup team and competed against France. She received a wildcard into the main draw of the US Open, where she won her first career Grand Slam match by defeating Polona Hercog in straight sets. However, she lost to Maria Sharapova in the second round.
In Boca Raton, Florida, McHale beat Asia Muhammad in qualifying. Soon afterwards, she earned a qualifying victory over Beatrice Capra for the French Open. She lost in the first round to Varvara Lepchenko.
At the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, McHale defeated Nadia Petrova in the first round and Ayumi Morita in the second. She then lost in the third round to the eventual winner and former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters.
In June, she gained her first ITF singles title, winning a $50,000 event in Italy.
At Wimbledon, McHale won her second Grand Slam match by defeating 28th seed Ekaterina Makarova in three sets. She lost in the second round to Tamira Paszek of Austria. In the second round of the Western & Southern Open, McHale beat then-world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.
In the first round of the US Open, she earned a three-set victory over Aleksandra Wozniak. She went on to beat 8th seed Marion Bartoli in straight sets. McHale exited after a third-round loss to 25th seeded Maria Kirilenko.
McHale kicked off her season at the ASB Classic in Auckland, where she reached the second round before losing to 3rd seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Ranked 42 at the Australian Open, she upset 24th seed Lucie Šafářová in the first round. She won her second-round match against Marina Erakovic. McHale lost her third-round match to 13th seed Jelena Janković.
In February, McHale played in the Fed Cup tie against Belarus. She won both of her matches over Anastasiya Yakimova and Darya Kustova. In the end, the USA defeated Belarus 5–0. At the Open GDF Suez, McHale reached the 2nd round, where she lost to Yanina Wickmayer. Playing in Qatar at the Qatar Total Open, McHale reached the quarterfinals beating Chanelle Scheepers, 12th seed Peng Shuai, and Shahar Pe'er. She was defeated in the quarterfinals by 4th seed Agnieszka Radwańska. Seeded 32 at the BNP Paribas Open, McHale got a bye to the second round. She defeated Elena Vesnina in the second round. In the third round, she stunned 3rd seed Petra Kvitová. McHale's run came to an end when she lost a three set match to 18th seed Angelique Kerber. McHale wrapped up March by playing at the Sony Ericsson Open. She reached the second round before losing to Petra Cetkovská.
McHale started the clay-court season in Charleston at the Family Circle Cup. Seeded 11, she lost in the first round to Aleksandra Wozniak. She was then selected for the Fed Cup World Group Tie in Kharkiv, Ukraine. McHale won both of her rubbers over Lesia Tsurenko and Elina Svitolina. The USA went on to defeat Ukraine 5–0. In the French Open, McHale defeated Kiki Bertens and fellow American Lauren Davis in the first two rounds before falling to defending champion Li Na in the third round.
McHale advanced to the third round for the fourth consecutive Grand Slam event in the Wimbledon Championships. She advanced over Johanna Konta and Mathilde Johansson but was defeated by 8th seeded Angelique Kerber in the third round.
McHale then participated at the Olympic tennis tournament in London where she was defeated in the first round by Ana Ivanovic. In New York at the US Open, McHale was defeated in the first round by Kiki Bertens. She then competed in the China Open in Beijing, but was defeated in the first round by Ana Ivanovic once again.
McHale started her 2013 season at the ASB Classic. Seeded 7, she lost in the opening round to Pauline Parmentier. At the Apia International Sydney, she was defeated in the first round by 4th seed Li Na. McHale's slump continued into the Australian Open. Ranked 35, McHale fell in the first round to Yulia Putintseva.
McHale then recorded her first win of the year (and first since August 2012) in Paris at the Open GdF Suez, before losing to Marion Bartoli in the second round.
McHale's next tournament was the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Qatar, where she achieved back-to-back victories for the first time in 2013, before falling to Victoria Azarenka in the third round. At the WTA Premier Mandatory BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, she reached the second round before losing to Maria Kirilenko.
McHale started her European clay swing at the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid Spain. She progressed through the qualifying event before falling to Maria Sharapova in the second round. In Rome, McHale defeated Karin Knapp in the first round, before losing to 7th seed Sara Errani in the second. It was the third time in as many meetings in which a match against Errani was decided in the third set.
Her French Open campaign ended in a 1st round defeat, whilst Wimbledon saw an improvement, where she reached the second round and was defeated by the 15th seed and eventual champion, Marion Bartoli.
At the US Open, McHale reached the third round, where she faced Serbian Ana Ivanovic. After winning the first set, she served for the match at 5–4 up in the second set, but was broken, and ultimately lost the match in three sets. Despite the loss, she earned praise for her fighting performance against the former world No. 1.
McHale reached her first WTA final in Acapulco in 2014, where she was runner-up to Dominika Cibulkova.
By 2016, she had also achieved the feat of reaching the third round in every Grand Slam tournament. At Wimbledon, she pushed eventual champion Serena Williams to three sets, winning the first and briefly holding the lead in the third. In September, she won her first WTA title at the Japan Women's Open, defeating Kateřina Siniaková in three sets, and stated after the match: "I don't even want to put my trophy down—I just want to hold it all the time."
An aggressive baseliner, McHale is noted for her powerful forehand groundstrokes, as well as for her speed around the court. During her second-round match at Wimbledon in 2016, Eurosport commended McHale for displaying "superb court coverage". The New York Times has noted McHale's "booming" groundstrokes as one of her primary strengths.
WTA career finals
Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)
|Loss||0–1||Mar 2014||Mexican Open, Mexico||International||Hard||Dominika Cibulková||6–7(3–7), 6–4, 4–6|
|Win||1–1||Sep 2016||Japan Women's Open, Japan||International||Hard||Kateřina Siniaková||3–6, 6–4, 6–4|
Doubles: 2 (2 titles)
|Win||1–0||Jan 2016||Hobart International, Australia||International||Hard||Han Xinyun|| Kimberly Birrell
|Win||2–0||Oct 2016||Tianjin Open, China||International||Hard||Peng Shuai|| Xu Yifan
ITF Circuit finals (5–5)
|Runner–up||1.||22 October 2007||Itu, Brazil||Clay||Mailen Auroux||5–7, 2–6|
|Runner–up||2.||5 October 2009||Troy, United States||Hard||Alison Riske||4–6, 6–2, 5–7|
|Winner||1.||5 June 2011||Rome, Italy||Clay||Ekaterina Lopes||6–2, 6–4|
|Winner||2.||31 January 2016||Lahaina, United States||Hard||Raveena Kingsley||6–3, 4–6, 6–4|
|Runner–up||1.||May 29, 2007||Houston, United States||Hard||Kimberly Couts|| Helena Bešović
|Winner||1.||October 15, 2007||Serra Negra, Brazil||Clay||Allie Will|| Mailen Auroux
|Winner||2.||June 23, 2008||Wichita, United States||Hard||Sloane Stephens|| Dominika Diešková
Ana Clara Duarte
|Runner–up||2.||June 8, 2009||Szczecin, Poland||Clay||Asia Muhammad|| Michaela Paštiková
|Winner||3.||May 31, 2010||Rome, Italy||Clay||Olivia Rogowska|| Iryna Brémond
|Runner–up||3.||October 27, 2013||Poitiers, France||Hard (i)||Monica Niculescu|| Lucie Hradecká
Grand Slam performance timelines
Only main-draw results on WTA Tour are considered.
|Australian Open||1R||LQ||1R||3R||1R||2R||2R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 9||4–9|
|French Open||A||1R||1R||3R||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 9||2–9|
|Wimbledon||A||A||2R||3R||2R||1R||2R||2R||2R||1R||0 / 8||7–8|
|US Open||2R||1R||3R||1R||3R||2R||1R||2R||2R||1R||0 / 10||8–10|
|Win–Loss||1–2||0–2||3–4||6–4||3–4||2–4||2–4||2–4||2–4||0–4||0 / 36||21–36|
|Singles||A||F||PO||PO||A||1R||PO||PO||A||A||0 / 6||4–5|
|WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments|
|Indian Wells||A||1R||3R||4R||2R||1R||2R||3R||1R||1R||0 / 9||9–9|
|Miami||LQ||LQ||LQ||2R||2R||2R||2R||2R||2R||3R||0 / 7||8–7|
|Madrid||A||A||A||2R||2R||2R||2R||3R||1R||Q1||0 / 6||6–6|
|Beijing||A||A||2R||1R||A||1R||LQ||1R||1R||0 / 5||1–5|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–1||3–2||5–4||3–3||2–4||3–3||5–4||1–4||3–2||0 / 27||24–27|
|WTA Premier 5 tournaments|
|Dubai||A||A||A||Premier||A||Pr||A||Q2||0 / 0||0–0|
|Doha||Not Held||Pr||QF||3R||A||Pr||A||Pr||Q2||0 / 2||5–2|
|Rome||A||A||2R||2R||2R||3R||QF||3R||1R||Q1||0 / 7||10–7|
|Canada||A||A||A||3R||LQ||LQ||A||2R||Q2||0 / 2||3–2|
|Cincinnati||A||3R||3R||1R||LQ||2R||1R||2R||Q1||0 / 6||6–6|
|Tokyo||A||1R||2R||A||A||Pr||0 / 2||1–2|
|Wuhan||Not Held||1R||LQ||LQ||2R||0 / 2||1–2|
|Titles/runners-up||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–1||0 / 88||0–1|
|Hardcourt win–loss||1–2||3–6||13–12||16–12||5–8||0 / 40||38–40|
|Clay win–loss||0–0||2–3||4–6||6–5||2–5||0 / 19||14–19|
|Grass win–loss||0–0||0–0||2–2||3–4||1–2||0 / 8||6–8|
|Carpet win–loss||0–0||3–1||0–0||0–0||0–0||0 / 1||3–1|
|Overall win–loss||1–2||8–10||19–20||25–21||8–15||0 / 68||61–68|
Only main-draw results on WTA Tour are considered; this table is current through the 2017 US Open.
|Australian Open||A||A||A||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||A||0 / 6||0–6|
|French Open||A||A||A||2R||1R||1R||1R||2R||A||1R||0 / 6||2–6|
|Wimbledon||A||A||3R||2R||2R||1R||1R||3R||1R||0 / 7||6–7|
|US Open||1R||1R||1R||A||1R||2R||1R||A||1R||0 / 7||1–7|
|Win–Loss||0–1||0–1||2–2||2–3||1–4||1–4||0–4||3–3||0–3||0–1||0 / 26||9–26|
Wins over top-10 players
|1.||Victoria Azarenka||No. 9||Charleston, USA||Clay||2R||2–6, 2–2 ret.|
|2.||Caroline Wozniacki||No. 1||Cincinnati, USA||Hard||2R||6–4, 7–5|
|3.||Marion Bartoli||No. 9||US Open, USA||Hard||2R||7–6(7–2), 6–2|
|4.||Petra Kvitová||No. 3||Indian Wells, USA||Hard||3R||2–6, 6–2, 6–3|
|5.||Caroline Wozniacki||No. 7||Eastbourne, UK||Grass||1R||6–1, 6–7(7–9), 6–4|
|6.||Garbiñe Muguruza||No. 4||Indian Wells, USA||Hard||2R||7–5, 6–1|