McHale claims Japan Open title

American seventh seed Christina McHale fought back to defeat Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in the final of the Japan Women's Open on Sunday.

McHale needed three sets to get past Siniakova 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a match lasting two hours and 42 minutes at Tokyo's Ariake Tennis Forest Park.

The American was in trouble early after trailing her opponent by a set and a break but a rain delay gave McHale time to regroup and turn the match around, with a run of eight straight games from the seventh game in the second set to lead 4-0 in the third before dropping her serve.

Sinaikova, to her credit, rallied back to 4-5 but then dropped her serve to lose the set and match 6-4 and hand her opponent her maiden WTA title.

In an interview afterwards, McHale said she was ecstatic to have won the tournament and thanked the fans for their support.

"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. 

"Thanks to all the fans and everyone here for sticking through all the rain delays – we've had a few, especially today."

Sinaikova said she was disappointed at having lost but acknowledged that her opponent had played well.

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

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