In Tokyo, Christina McHale comes back to top Katerina Siniakova for first WTA title

by: AP September 18, 2016

The American prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to win the Japan Open. (AP Photo)

TOKYO (AP) -- Christina McHale of the United States rallied to beat Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Japan Open and claim her first WTA singles title.

Seventh-seeded McHale broke her opponent seven times including in the final game to secure the win at Ariake Tennis Park.

Siniakova, also bidding for her first singles title, got off to a promising start by winning the first set but couldn't hold a 4-2 lead in the second set when McHale put together a run of eight straight games to take control.

''I don't even want to put my trophy down - I just want to hold it all the time,'' McHale said. ''I've been coming to this tournament for a few years now and I really love it here.''

Sunday's match was the second career singles final for the 24-year-old McHale. She lost to Dominika Cibulkova in Acapulco in 2014.

Siniakova, who also lost in the Bastad final in July, came back from 5-2 down in the third set to force a tense conclusion.

But McHale's nerve held steady, closing out an emotional victory when Siniakova sent a backhand wide.

''I'm here in the final for the second time and unfortunately it was really tough for me, so I'm a little sad,'' Siniakova said. ''But Christina played really well, so congratulations to her.''

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