Christina McHale, Oceane Dodin Claim Maiden Titles

American Christina McHale and French national Oceane Dodin won WTA title over the weekend.

The last week on the WTA Tour did not feature any major tournaments. However, one event was played in Tokyo, Japan (not be confused with this week’s Toray Pacific Open) while another was played in Quebec City, Canada. The events are now complete with Christina McHale and Oceane Dodin winning the respective titles.

McHale entered the Tokyo tournament as the 7th seed and she appeared to have a nice draw to open the event. However, not once in the five matches that she played did she ever enjoy a routine victory. McHale went to deciding-set tiebreakers in each of her first two matches, while her latter three all went to a third set as well. Having played the maximum 15 sets of tennis over the last several days, McHale finally won her first career WTA title.

Now aged 24, a tour-level title has been a long-time coming for the American. Accordingly she is set for a significant ranking climb on Monday. I don’t think that she’ll make the Top 40 next week, however the American should settle at about 42nd in the world. McHale is in the upcoming Guangzhou draw, however her exhausting efforts in Tokyo make her a withdrawal risk for that event in my view.

In North America, Oceane Dodin was unseeded in the Quebec City draw. However, she managed to take out 5th-seeded Naomi Broady in the opening round. From there, things got easier as Dodin won eight of nine sets from there on out to claim the title, also the first of her career. The 19-year old French player, who entered the week ranked 132nd in the world, should now be ranked between 90th and 95th.

Two players that really underachieved in the last week included both tournament top seeds. Neither Eugenie Bouchard nor Misaki Doi made the quarterfinals of either Quebec City or Tokyo. Furthermore, both No. 2 seeds in the events were eliminated in the first round.

This upcoming week there is a separate Tokyo event, there is an event to be played in Seoul, and there is another event in Ghangzhou. Garbine Muguruza is the biggest name active in any of the draws as she is top seeded in Tokyo. Joining her are both Agnieszka Radwanska and US Open runnerup Karolina Pliskova in what looks like a well-contested draw.

Shane Lambert