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Thursday, August 25, 2011
Christina McHale: 'It's been an eventful week' so far

By Christina McHale

American Christina McHale, 19, blogs for espnW from the New Haven Open, a tuneup for the U.S. Open. McHale, a wild card, opened her tourney by beating two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-3. She followed that with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Carla Suarez Navarro.

It's been an eventful week in New Haven. After pulling out a win in my first match, against Svetlana Kuznetsova, I got ready to take on Carla Suarez Navarro on Tuesday. As I was sitting on the couch waiting to go on the court, everyone around me started rushing out of the building. It wasn't long before we found out it was an earthquake, but I didn't feel a thing! We ended up camping out on the grass for more than two hours before we were allowed back inside. As crazy as that was, I played a solid match that night to get to the quarterfinals.

Next up, I play world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. I beat her last week, but I know things could be tougher this time around because she's familiar with my game. My mom and some friends were able to make the trip from my hometown in New Jersey for this tournament, which is so helpful in calming my nerves leading up to the match.

In fact, I'm playing at the Yale University tennis facility, so I've seen parents dropping their kids off at college this week. My mom and I were talking about how different things would be if that were what I was doing now. My sister plays tennis at the University of North Carolina, so at this point, I'm happy that I can visit her and miss out on all of the schoolwork.

From New Haven, I'll head to the U.S. Open. My house in New Jersey is close enough to the New York site that I'll be able to stay with my parents and sleep in my own bed. That will be nice! With the tournament draw coming out this week, it's easy to look ahead, but I won't find out who I play until I'm finished here. I attended my first U.S. Open when I was 10 years old, and as much as I love this time of the year, my priority is my next match -- and finishing the book "The Help." I can't wait to see the movie!