No.5 seed Christina McHale stormed past reigning Olympic Gold medalist and No.4 seed Monica Puig to reach her first WTA semifinal of the season at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.
WTA Staff

ACAPULCO, Mexico - No.5 seed Christina McHale put on an emphatic display to defeat No.4 seed Monica Puig, 6-2, 6-2 to become the first semifinalist at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match going in; she's got a lot of power," she said after the match. "I was just trying to defend well because she's really tough when she's in control of the points.

"I think I served well today, which helped a lot."

McHale last played Puig in 2010, and the Puerto Rican star has grown by leaps and bounds since then, becoming the first from her country to claim a gold medal at the Olympic tennis event. But the American, herself fluent in Spanish, acquitted herself well on Thursday, converting all four of her break point opportunities and striking four aces to ease past Puig in just over an hour.

The No.5 seed is into her third semifinal in Acapulco - her best result coming in 2014, when she reached the final - and will play No.2 seed Kristina Mladenovic in the next round.

Before she gets there, however, she is due back on court later today for a round of doubles; McHale is the No.4 seed with partner Chuang Chia-Jung and takes on Veronica Cepede Royg and Mariana Duque-Mariño to make two semifinals in the same week.

"I was just focusing on the match, and I'm really happy to be in another semifinal. This is one of my favorite tournaments. I'm excited to be back on court for doubles later."