Slovakia's Rybarikova rallied past Christina McHale for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory at the Citi Open.
Slovakia's Rybarikova rallied past Christina McHale for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory at the Citi Open.
Alex Brandon/AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defending champion and No. 7 seed Magdalena Rybarikova rallied past Christina McHale for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory in the first round of the Citi Open on Monday.

Playing with a wrap on her left thigh because of a lower back injury, Rybarikova twice lost serve in the opening set. The 43rd-ranked Slovak rebounded as McHale also struggled on her serve.

"Her game went down and I had my chances," said Rybarikova, who broke McHale three times in the final set. "Especially in the third set, I really played my game."

McHale is one of 11 American women ranked in the top 100, a group that includes No. 15 Sloane Stephens, the No. 2 seed in Washington.

Paula Ormaechea advanced with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Beatrice Capra.

In the men's event, 2011 champion Radek Stepanek defeated American Steve Johnson 7-6 (3), 6-3. Somdev Devvarman beat Rhyne Williams 7-5, 6-1.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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