N. LI/C. McHale 3‑6, 6‑2, 6‑1


Q.  Li Na came in and said, She’s a very dangerous player about you, and that experience was really critical for her today.  Talk about that statement and what you think.

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Yeah, I think I started off playing pretty well.  Yeah, I think her experience in the end helped and she started playing better as the match went on.

So, yeah, I’ll just have to use this match and learn from it.  Playing players like her in these rounds at tournaments is still new for me.

So, yeah, I’m just going to take the positives from it and keep going.

Q.  Obviously the first set you were amazing; you were completely on.  Talk about the difference.  Was it more that her game rose up, or did you have a little bit of a dip?  What was the difference between the first and the next two?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Yeah, I think ‑‑ I definitely think she lifted her level of play as the match went on.  I think I started maybe hitting the ball too much here where she likes it; whereas in the first set I was mixing it up more.

Yeah, it was a combination of both.

Q.  So when you get out of the first set and you’re winning, are you thinking, Oh, my God, I’m one set away from beating this woman?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  No.  I mean, I knew she wasn’t going to go away.  The match ‑‑ it was just one set, so, no, I was trying to stay as focused as I could.

But, yeah, I think unfortunately that didn’t happen.  Yeah.

Q.  So the positives?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Um, yeah, I mean, it was my first time making it to this round at the French.  I’m gaining experience from this.  Yeah, I think there are a lot of positives.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to next tournament, next match.

Q.  Li Na said that you lost mainly because you are not so experienced.  She said in one or two years you could be very formidable.  Who do you think of her comment?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Um, yeah, that’s very nice of her to say.  Um, yeah, I think, you know, today I think her experience did help her get out of ‑‑ you know, be able to raise her level when she needed to in the second and third.

I hope to, yeah, gain more experience and just see ‑‑ take it one match at a time.  Yeah.

Q.  When I did some research about you today, it shows you lived in Hong Kong for five years when you were a kid and you speak Mandarin.  I’m curious, how good you are?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  (In Mandarin.)

Q.  Very impressive.

CHRISTINA McHALE:  I was very young.  I was three to eight when I was there, so we learned Mandarin in school.  We learned very little Mandarin, but I went to an international school.

Q.  Next time you are in Beijing we will do an interview with you in Chinese.

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Yeah, I need to practice.  (In Mandarin.)

Q.        What’s the challenge like of facing her when she’s playing well, as she was at times, compared to other players on tour?  Talk about what you were trying to do tactically, things you were trying to do to change it around at the end.

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Yeah, she just strikes the ball so clean when she makes contact with it.  She takes it early, too, and can put a little bit more spin.  When I didn’t get it deep enough, she just steps right in and gets me on the defense right away.

So I think I need to do ‑‑ like in the first set I had more shape on it so I was keeping her back.  Then my shots got shorter and she was able to dictate more.

Q.  Got shorter because of getting a little tight or because she was putting the ball in better spots?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Um, yeah, I think maybe I should have, you know, gone for my shots a little bit more.  But I think she made a ‑‑ like she decided to step in more and look for it more.

So I think it was a combination.

Q.  Talk about your advantage and disadvantage in tennis.  Tell us about it.

CHRISTINA McHALE:  My strength and weaknesses…

Q.  Strong points.

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Oh, yeah, I think my movement is one of my advantages and strengths.

I think I like to just mix it up, like hit ‑‑ mix up the height of the ball and use my forehand.

I think all the parts of my game maybe could improve still, get stronger.


Q.  One more question:  In the second set, the service game you have many deuce and got advantages a lot, but didn’t get it.  Do you think that’s a turning point of the match?  After the match, what do you think about the match?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  I remember in the second set, the 4‑2 game where I could have gotten back on serve, I had a couple of ads.  So I definitely think that could have changed things.  Yeah, I mean, I mean, like that in the second set, then this just kind of ‑‑ the lead was too much to come back in that second set.

But, yeah, I think I’m ‑‑ yeah, maybe it could have changed things a little bit, but I think she started to play much better.

Q.  A lot of the pedal of the second week of a slam is feeling like you really belong there.  Where are you in that internal debate?

CHRISTINA McHALE:  Um, I definitely think having these matches here are definitely going to help me in the future hopefully to make it to the second week.

But, yeah, I think a big part of it is experience, so hopefully I’m ‑‑ I’ll be in the second week one time.  Or many times hopefully.