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August 31, 2011

Christina McHale


C. McHALE/M. Bartoli
7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said the first-round win was the best of your summer. Did that now top that one?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah. I'm so excited to have beaten a player like Marion, especially have it happen here at the US Open.

Q. You rank it higher than the Wozniacki win?
CHRISTINA McHALE: I think they're different wins. I had never really, at the Grand Slams, made it past the second round. Yeah, that was a good win for me, too, but I think to have it happen here at the Grand Slam is exciting for me.

Q. When you get ahead in the second set against a big-name player like Bartoli, in your mind what do you know you have to do to not letdown?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, I knew that like I had to try. I couldn't let her -- I couldn't play like any sloppy games. I had to try and compete really hard in the second set because I knew she was going to try even harder, too, to get the second set because she lost the first.
Yeah, when I went from 3-Love to 3-2, I was like, C'mon, Christina, don't let it get back to 3-All. That game was a big game to get it to 4-2.

Q. What shots did you play in that game?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Uhm, I was serving. I think we had a couple rallies. There was not one particular shot in that game.

Q. The net cord point.
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, yeah, I got lucky there.

Q. How significant was that, in your mind?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, for sure. It put me up 40-15, so...
Yeah, it definitely helped.

Q. How big was the one before that where she shouts, C'mon, you get the ball back?
CHRISTINA McHALE: That's actually happened to me before. What happened to her happened to me. I knew that I would get the point because I'd had the opposite happen to me where I lost the point.

Q. You actually yelled out in the middle of a point?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, I thought the person wasn't going to get it. I thought it was a winner. I had the same thing where I said, C'mon, too early, and you automatically lose the point.

Q. You don't seem to say a lot on the court. How would you describe yourself and your demeanor?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, I think it's my personality not to show too much, I guess, not to show too much negative or positive. I try to stay in the middle.

Q. What have you learned since Paris that helps you get through games like that?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, I think like that was a really, really tough loss for me, but I think it's helped me to learn how to close out matches earlier.

Q. Marion was impressed with your movement today. Do you feel you were moving better today than you were in other matches?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Uhm, I felt like I was -- yeah, I had to constantly, because she just hits the angles really well and takes it early. I felt like I constantly had to move that way in order to have a chance.

Q. Have you tried the egg that Novak is using or has used?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, I've tried it before.

Q. Did you think it helped?
CHRISTINA McHALE: I don't think I did it enough to be able to say.

Q. What was it like?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Uhm, it's different. But, yeah, I didn't do it enough to be able to comment on it.

Q. There's obviously a kind of a lull in American women's tennis, in tennis overall for young players. In your dreams, do you imagine you could fill that void and become the next great player that we have?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Uhm, yeah, that's what I'm working towards. I think there's a lot of American players, young American players, right now that are all kind of pushing each other. So I think it's exciting.

Q. Talk about that process. How does it help to have kind of an ensemble?
CHRISTINA McHALE: We all push each other to want to do better, yeah.

Q. When you did this egg, as we call it, was it last year or this year? Is it like being inside an oven? What is it like in there?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, I tried it last year just a couple times. And, yeah, it feels like you're on an airplane.

Q. The pressurized air?

Q. You did it the same place that Novak did it, the same house?

Q. How long were you in it?
CHRISTINA McHALE: I mean, it's like little sessions. I don't even remember, like seven-minute sessions.

Q. When I get off an airplane I feel terrible.
CHRISTINA McHALE: I didn't do it enough to be able to give you like an expert opinion on it. I don't know.

Q. You're the hometown favorite. How does it feel to make it to your first third round of a major championship here?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, it's huge. I mean, I'm so excited right now. I've been working really hard, uhm, you know, on the practice court.
So, yeah, it's exciting to have it happen here especially.

Q. How has your family been doing and how have you been doing post hurricane? Were you hit at all?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Oh, yeah, I am staying at my house. We were lucky. We just had like really bad winds that night.
But, no, we had no damage to our house. The houses around us as well were fine. We were lucky.

Q. The move in February to come back here and train here and live at home, how much has that made you happier or been better for you?
CHRISTINA McHALE: It's so nice to be able to be home. With all the traveling that I do, it always feels amazing to come home and be able to train at home. I get to spend more time here. It's huge for me.

Q. How would you describe this place a couple weeks ago?
CHRISTINA McHALE: It's so different seeing it when no one is here, nothing is set up. Now it feels completely different.

Q. Has it helped to make you feel really comfortable here?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah. I mean, I'm getting to stay at my house while I'm here. I'm sleeping in my own bed and all that.
Yeah, it's weird, but it's so nice to have that.

Q. You saw what happened to Melanie a couple years ago here. Do you have a sense of how much the American public wants to glom onto someone?
CHRISTINA McHALE: I try not to think about that too much. I mean, when I go out there every time on the court, I'm going to try my best, try to compete really hard.

Q. Patrick McEnroe said he's hit with you a bunch of times here. What do you get out of that?
CHRISTINA McHALE: It's so nice having him around. We've hit a lot throughout the year when I've been here.
Yeah, I mean, it's really nice having someone like him around to hit with and give advice.

Q. Most kids who grow up in the Metropolitan area have a favorite US Open story when they were young. Do you have something you recall coming here the first time?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Someone asked me this the other day. I don't remember a particular match. I just remember we'd all get here when the gates opened and we'd literally spend the whole day here, all of our friends, running from court to court, trying to get an autograph, a picture.
It was so much fun for us.

Q. I know you said you like to stay even-keeled. Today you were pumped up. Was that a response to the crowd, what she was doing?
CHRISTINA McHALE: No. I think, yeah, I was -- the crowd was definitely helping me. No, I just knew like I had to try to pump myself up to stay like engaged in the match, yeah.

Q. You didn't come from tennis parents. Do you think that's been good for you? Were you aware of some of the reputations out there growing up?
CHRISTINA McHALE: My parents have always been really supportive. My sister played, too, so, yeah, they've been always so supportive. So it's nice.

Q. What's it like being on the road with your mom?
CHRISTINA McHALE: It's great. I always like having someone with me, whether it's my sister, my mom, or my dad. It's nice.

Q. Do you remember the Maria match two years ago?

Q. Was that spotlight almost too bright, and do you have any idea how...
CHRISTINA McHALE: I didn't have as much experience then. I think, yeah, now I'm more experienced. But still, I mean, I still have, yeah, a lot more experience that I have to learn still.

Q. Do you have any idea what this ride might be like going forward now?
CHRISTINA McHALE: No. I'm just going to get ready for the next match, yeah.

Q. How well do you know the other young Americans, Coco, Sloane, Irina, Madison?
CHRISTINA McHALE: How well do I know them?

Q. Yes.
CHRISTINA McHALE: Uhm, yeah, we've all grown up together playing juniors and stuff. We all know each other.

Q. Did you get an autograph on that afternoon?

Q. You were talking about your friends looking for autographs. Did you get any?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah. We got everyone, I think.

Q. Such as?
CHRISTINA McHALE: I think I got Rafa's autograph. That was exciting for us. We got Agassi, too. Yeah, so...

Q. Does it feel weird knowing you're the one whose autograph they're seeking?
CHRISTINA McHALE: It still feels weird, yeah.

Q. Marion said it seemed like you knew where she was going all the time. She didn't know if you were reading her or you were just having a good sense of anticipation. What was it today?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Uhm, well, I just knew how to always be on my toes and ready to react to her shots because she takes the ball really early.
I guess it was a combination of both maybe. I started anticipating better as the match went on. Or I just reacted when I saw it, yeah.

Q. With you and Novak Djokovic having a relationship with Gordon, anything you've been able to glean from that?
CHRISTINA McHALE: I don't train over there anymore.

Q. Since you started training with this new team, can you talk about how they've helped you, maybe any changes you've made?
CHRISTINA McHALE: Yeah, I mean, from when I first came here they were all really supportive, all the coaches. The kids, too. It's nice being in an environment training here.
Yeah, it's really good training for me and they're all so supportive.

Q. Are you at the point where when you step on the court against anybody you think you can beat them?
CHRISTINA McHALE: No, I don't -- I try not to before the match think about the result when I'm going out there. I just try and focus on each point.

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