Tennis - American women Christina McHale, Sasha Vickery and Alison Riske all advanced to the second round of the US Open on Tuesday, making it a good day for American prospects.
McHale, whose career had been derailed by a bout of mononuclesis last year, defeated the former top 20 player Julia Goerges, of Germany, 6-4, 6-3 in front of a packed crowd on Grandstand Court.
The 21-year-old New Jersey native, who reached the third round here two years ago, ended a five match losing streak with this win. Her last win on the tour came in the first round at WImbledon.
McHale commented, "I just tried to really just not get ahead of myself during the match and just focus on each game. I stayed pretty consistent and I went for my shots when I needed to. I think that was the key to the match." She next meets Ukraine's Elina Svitolina, who upset 17th seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round.
"I got sick at the end of last year and then I lacked a lot of match play in the beginning of the year, so it's hard to gain some confidence. So it's definitely been a struggle. But I think I'm working really hard in practice, I'm doing the right things, so I think a match like today really will help me and hopefully I can continue to build on this for the rest of the year."
Vickery, ,the reigning USTA Girls’ 18s national champion, scored her first ever grand slam win, beating former Wimbledon semi-finalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 6-4, 6-4. Vickery is currently ranked no. 227 in the world and next plays Israel's Julia Glushko, who upset No. 20 seed Nadia Petrova in the first round.
And in a meeting of grass court specialists, 23 year old Riske defeated former Wimbledon semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, 6-3, 6-3. This was Riske's first win in the US Open main draw.
Speaking after her win, Riske commented, "I think it's huge for me. I never really felt that comfortable playing here before, but now that I've matured, I can just relax and enjoy this atmosphere and go play tennis. I feel like this is where I'm supposed to be."
Riske, Vickery and McHale are among 10 American women who have advanced to the second round of the women's singles draw.
How can you better play a passing shot…
as a second shot?