Hashimoto Sogyo Japan Women’s Open Tennis, Tokyo
Women’s Final:  Christina McHale (USA) vs.  Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
McHale was on the brink of elimination throughout the entire tournament. Every match went to three sets. He first two matches she had to win a third set tiebreak to win the match. Thus, I did not expect the final to be a straight forward encounter and it was not. Siniakova took the first set and was up an early break in the second set before she started to unravel emotionally. It did not help that rain continued to interrupt play throughout the match. However, McHale maintained her calm and never seemed too troubled by the delays and interruptions. Even when she was down a break in the second set, she calmly went about her business, never worried about the score.
The third set seemed to be going very smoothly for McHale; however, the prospect of winning her first title reared its ugly head and disrupted her rhythm. She served to take a commanding lead of 5-0 but was broken by the obviously physically hampered Siniakova. The momentum suddenly shifted as Siniakova seemed primed to even the third set at 5-5; however, that’s when McHale showed her mental toughness. She brushed aside her disappointment at her inability to serve it out and came back focused in the next game. She broke her opponent at love to win her first career singles title on her second attempt. She won 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. McHale also proved that she is physically fit and hopefully this title will propel her forward and we will see her back on the podium receiving many more trophies in the future.
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