McNally Defeats Defending Champion to Book Semifinal Spot
MIDLAND, Michigan, February 1, 2019 – Coming into a matchup with the tournament’s defending champion and with a potential match-up against the top seed, some might’ve said all the pressure in the world was on Caty McNally to perform Friday afternoon.
In reality, it was quite the contrary.
“I don’t think I really had any pressure coming in to anything this week,” said McNally, “I was given a wild card, so I would’ve had to go into qualifying with my ranking. This just gives me more confidence and no matter what happens next match, I’m happy with the run that I’ve had so far.”
McNally has had arguably the most challenging run through the tournament of any of the four semifinalists, one of them being the player that won this event a year ago.
Only one of the other three semifinalists have faced a seeded opponent. McNally has faced two. The lone remaining seeded player – top ranked Rebecca Peterson – is her opponent in the semifinal.
McNally looked like someone who had been battle tested throughout the week on Friday as she battled back and forth with Madison Brengle throughout the opening set. The set was at 4-3 in the 17-year-old’s favor when she was finally able to break Brengle and secure the first set 6-3.
In the second set, the Cincinnati native fought through a tight set again as she closed out the second set 6-4.
It would seem that, again, the pressure should be on McNally in tomorrow’s big matchup. However, the 17-year-old appears cautiously confident as she heads into the semi-final.
“I’ve never really watched [Peterson] play but it should be a really good match,” added McNally, “I’m playing really well this week. I’ve played multiple junior tournaments here, and I really like the environment here, everyone’s super friendly, and it suits my game really well.”
It’s safe to say one thing no matter whether you believe the pressure’s on for McNally, or you don’t think there’s any pressure at all on the young-gun: she’s been battle tested this week, and will surely be ready for another battle in Saturday’s semi-final.
Story by Zach Hanson