The American Christina McHale upset World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in front of a packed Grandstand Wednesday to advance to the third round 6-4, 7-5. By defeating Wozniacki, the World No. 76 claimed the biggest win of her young career.
The New Jersey-native, also the youngest player in the Top 100, won the first set 6-4 with inspired play and a smattering of uncharacteristic errors from Wozniacki. In the second set, McHale earned a decisive break at 5-all to serve out the match.
"I'm so excited to have a win like this. It's still sinking in. Hasn't really registered yet. But, yeah, it's huge for me. I'm just really excited," said McHale.
About the loss, the Dane said, "Well, she played well. She played what she needed to do today. Of course disappointing right now to have lost this match. I feel like I shouldn't, but it's tennis. It's just one week. I'll try to do better again next week."
McHale, 19, who received a wild card into the main draw, saw her best Tour result this year by advancing to the Charleston quarterfinals. With the win, she becomes the first wild card to defeat the Western & Southern Open’s top seed since Jamea Jackson took out Marion Bartoli, who retired trailing 7-6(5), 2-2, in the ’08 first round.
This also matches McHale’s best Cincinnati result when, as the World No. 132, she advanced to the third round in 2010.
Previously, the American scored her biggest win to date over No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion, at Indian Wells this year.
With the defeat, Wozniacki, who’s in her 44th week as the top-ranked player, has lost three consecutive matches. Italy’s Roberta Vinci beat her last week in Toronto.
The American appears in the same section of the draw as 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. She next faces recent College Park champion Nadia Petrova, who upset former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.
By Benjamin Snyder