Christina McHale, widely tipped as the American to fill the void soon to be left by Serena and Venus Williams, is hoping to hone her skills ahead of the Olympic Tennis stage at Eastbourne.
McHale, 19, is expected to crack the world’s top 10 over the next few seasons on the WTA Tour and has already claimed scalps of the leading players over the past year.
The American teenager recently beat 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, added to victories over Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, France’s Marion Bartoli and Russian ace Svetlana Kuznetsova.
McHale admitted that she was fast becoming a victim of her own success and said:
“Now everyone knows my game, because when you’re ranked everyone comes at you – but I know their game too.
“But putting a ranking on myself is one of the things I don’t like to do. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing by continuing to work hard and competing then. I’m working hard to get to the next level, and my coaches know I have to get stronger.”
McHale cracked the top 200 in 2010 but has become stronger on the court since then by being more tactically evolved. McHale’s game plan has been successfully adjusted by her coach Jay Gooding, staying close to the baseline and adding killer shots when approaching the net.
“It feels like things are moving steadily. I mostly played well all last year, but I need to concentrate on what’s ahead of me and continue to improve.”