Thursday, July 14, 2011

Christina McHale Meets Her Match

Christina McHale accepted a wildcard into the New Haven Open yesterday, and met some pretty stiff competition at a schoolyard, too.

In the words of promising tennis star Vaughn Weston, "I bet not even the professional tennis people can beat me." (see video, :50)

Sure, kid, whatever.

"He was talking some trash there," said McHale.

On a more serious note, great to see the 3rd-ranked American Christina McHale sharing some quality time with kids on a beautiful summer day. Grassroots events like this one, sponsored by First Niagara, are a fantastic way for tennis to reach out to youths. By handing out 300 free tennis racquets and letting each kid take a whack or two with a promising young professional, the sport might get some exposure that it otherwise wouldn't have. And if just one of those kids takes a liking to his or her free racquet and says "mom, take me down to the public court so I can whoop on that cocky dude Vaughn Weston," than Christina and the promoters of the event have done their job.

The New Haven Open will begin on August 20, and will feature Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Francesca Schiavone in its field. McHale, a 19-year-old Teaneck, New Jersey native, has wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Alisa Kleybanova, Peng Shuai and Daniela Hantuchova this year, and is currently ranked No. 68.

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