Tue, Jul 09, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Wedding belle Riske stuns the top seed

AFP, LONDON

Alison Riske of the US returns to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in their Wimbledon women’s singles match in London yesterday.

Photo: AFP

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty was knocked out of Wimbledon yesterday, losing her fourth-round tie against soon-to-be-wed Alison Riske of the US.

French Open champion Barty, bidding to become the first Australian champion at Wimbledon since 1980, lost 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to the world No. 55.

Riske, who is to marry Stephen Amritraj, the son of former Indian Davis Cup player Anand, after Wimbledon, goes on to face either seven-time champion Serena Williams or Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the semi-finals.

It would be the 29-year-old’s first appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final.

“I had to play aggressive. I had to take it to Ash,” Riske said. “The grass definitely brings out the best in me. Hopefully, it will rub off and happen in other places, too. I have a great return game and I think grass just really suits my game, and I feel at home here. I really don’t want Wimbledon to end.”

On the prospect of facing Williams for a place in the last four, she said: “Bring it on.”

The defeat brought an end to 23-year-old Barty’s 15-match winning run.

Riske had reached her second career Grand Slam fourth round the hard way, coming back from a 1-4 final-set deficit to defeat Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the first round.

She then needed a 9-7 third set to see off Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic, before hitting back from 0-3 down in the decider to beat Swiss 13th seed Belinda Bencic in the third round.

“I’m so excited. I think ultimately, I’m just so proud of myself for the way I handled today’s match. Just to overcome the matches the way that I have, I think that’s ultimately what I’m most excited about,” Riske said. “The quarter-finals is amazing, but the way that I’ve been fighting, that is what is most exciting for me.”

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