Christina McHale has had some big wins in her career beating the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Last night, she added Petra Kvitova to that growing list as she produced an excellent performance to beat the world number three, 2-6 6-2 6-3. McHale finished the match with a sublime drop shot in one of the finest match points of 2012 so far. I’m searching for a video on YouTube, but the link before is the best I can find if you start watching at 2:15.
I questioned whether McHale had the game to rival the most powerful players on tour such as Kvitova and as well, the mental strength to pull off these wins. She has suffered some alarming mental chokes in her career; most notably wasting a 5-0 third set lead to Sara Errani in the French Open last year. Yesterday she served out the match to love and demonstrated how far her game has progressed in such a short space of time.
Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska continued to move towards a potential quarter-final match with both enjoying straight set wins. Azarenka took apart Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-1 6-2 with a controlled display of hitting off both wings. Radwanska recovered from a double break deficit in the first set to ease past Flavia Pennetta, 6-4 6-2. In other matches, Li Na romped home against an off-colour Zheng Jie, 6-1 6-3, who struggled on serve throughout the contest. Jamie Hampton continued her superb week as she beat Jarmila Gajdosova. It looked like another major choke was on our hands as she wasted a 6-1 5-2 lead, but she valiantly kept fighting to put the match to bed in the third set, 6-2 6-7 6-2.
Julia Goerges continued to improve her consistency with a hard fought 6-3 6-4 victory over Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-3 6-4. Neither player was at their best, but Goerges got the win and that is the important thing! She will face off against the world number one, Azarenka in the 4th round. The two final matches never took to court as Vera Zvonareva and Vania King both pulled out with viral illnesses to hand Klara Zakopalova and Angelique Kerber walkovers. This illness has struck many of the players this week and hopefully won’t take down any more players!