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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