Christina McHale punctuated the biggest victory of her young life with a 109-mph ace down the T before an overflow crowd on the Grandstand Court.
McHale, a 19-year-old Jersey Girl from Englewood Cliffs, downed Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to advance to the third round.
“It’s huge,” McHale said of her win over the 2007 Wimbledon finalist. “I’m so excited right now.”
McHale became the youngest American to defeat a world No. 1 since 2001 when she beat Caroline Wozniacki in Cincinnati in August.
But now she has a chance to be the Melanie Oudin of 2011. Oudin created quite a buzz by reaching the quarterfinals here two years ago at 17.
Oudin has been unable to replicate her success, however, and was ousted in the first round this year. McHale hopes to avoid that type of letdown, whatever happens from here on out.
McHale gets to sleep in her own bed every night and play on courts with which she’s familiar. She travels with her mother, Margarita, and trains in Queens with Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of USTA Player Development, who said she gives him a run for his money.
She admitted to using the same hyperbaric chamber in Alpine, N.J., that Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 seed on the men’s side, used, but said she couldn’t tell if it had any effect on her play.
“I tried it last year just a couple times,” she said. “It feels like you’re on an airplane.”
McHale says she’s focused on becoming the next great American female after the Williams sisters.
“That’s what I’m working toward,” she said.