Erakovic was down a set and 5-4 before managing to take the second set, and then from 3-3 in the third set she won the last three games for a 57 76(4) 63 triumph.
"The match was very tight. It could have gone either way," Erakovic said. "In the second set I started playing a little better and was very lucky to pull it out. In the third set, I think she was feeling a bit more pressure and I was able to serve it out. It was a good match."
Erakovic has fond memories of this event, having made her first WTA final here in 2011.
"I love Québec City," Erakovic said. "It's one of my favorite tournaments. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it last year because I was injured."
"I played really well today," McHale said. "I was very solid with my groundstrokes and I served well too. There are some things I'm going to work on in practice and hopefully be ready for the second round.
"I really like everything about this tournament. It's really nice this year that we can practice right on site. I really like the way Center Court plays. It's a big improvement."
"She's super nice," McHale said. "I was on a couple Fed Cup teams with her and the Olympics last year and she has always been extremely nice to us. She's really funny, always making jokes. I was watching the finals yesterday on TV and I was really happy for her."