If someone tells me the female game can’t stand up to the men’s game then they needed to watch this drama-filled Wimbledon second-round match between Serena Williams and Christina McHale that was impossible to call at any stage. Full of twists and turns, this encounter was a neutral’s dream or a Williams/McHale’s fan nightmare with the unpredictability!
After a fairly routine win against Amra Sadikovic, Williams was immediately given a wakeup call against McHale, by being broken in her first game which included a double fault. Trying to wrestle back the early initiative, Williams wasted four break points as McHale managed to hold serve to take a 2-0 lead.
Looking tentative and trying to force the issue early, Williams gained her composure and drew level at 4-4 after jumping onto McHale’s weak second serve. After a lengthy rain delay and the roof being closed, play recommenced, and the intriguing duel continued to seesaw back and forth and resulted in a tiebreak filled with drama. Saving a set point, Williams nearly sent a smash into the royal box. But McHale continued to grind hard and converted her third set point.
Williams needed to start the second set on the front and she got her reward when she broke McHale’s second game, as she tried to swing the momentum of the tie her way. Stepping up the intensity of her game, Williams raced through the second set to win 6-2 and take the match to a deciding set.
If we thought the first couple of sets were tight, the final one was nip/tuck on the way and you felt like you were on a rollercoaster going back and forth with each player struggling to hold their serve. McHale notably struggled more and was eventually worn down as Serena overpowered her when serving at 4-4. Williams not at her fluent best at any stage did manage to serve out the match as she progresses to the third round. Final score: 6-7(7) 6-2 6-4. (photos: Jimmie48)