While Rafael Nadal was busy winning his 11th French Open title on Sunday, American Alison Riske lifted a trophy of her own at the ITF event in Surbiton, Great Britain. The grass-court title was Riske’s first at the ITF or WTA level since 2016.
Just before the French Open, where she took the opening set off eventual champion and world No. 1 Simona Halep in the first round, Riske reached her first career clay-court WTA final in Nürnberg, Germany. She was able to take that form onto the grass courts of southwest London, as she stormed to her eighth career ITF singles title without dropping a set.
Here’s more on the in-form American.
The Alison Riske File
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Current Rank: 63
Career-High Rank: 36 (May 2017)
Best US Open Finish: Round 4 (2013)
- Riske ended the 2017 season at No. 70 in the WTA rankings, earning her fifth consecutive Top 100 season. Third-round appearances at the Australian Open and Wimbledon marked her first Slam wins since 2014, breaking a run of nine consecutive first-round exits. Riske also played a part in Team USA’s 2017 Fed Cup title run, as she won the opening rubber in its quarterfinal tie against Germany and was on the squad for the final in Belarus.
- In addition to her eight ITF singles titles – three of which have now come in Great Britain – Riske won her only WTA-level trophy in 2014 at the Tianjin Open in China. She has reached five WTA finals since then, including three in 2016.
- After committing to Vanderbilt on a tennis scholarship in 2009, Riske reversed her decision following a strong summer run on the ITF tour during which she reached a final and a trio of semifinals. Her first tournament as a full-time professional was that summer’s US Open, where she lost in the first round of qualifying in three sets.
- In addition to her fourth-round appearance at the 2013 US Open, Riske has reached the third round at a Slam five other times. In that 2013 run, Riske defeated two seeds, including No. 7 Petra Kvitova, as a wild card before falling in three sets to Daniela Hantuchova. The French Open is the only major in which she has not progressed past the second round.
They Said It!
"Honored to have played a small role in helping Simona win her first Slam!! Seriously, though, amazing job, Simona, and huge congrats to Sloane, too!" – Riske joked on Twitter, referencing the early wake-up call she gave to Halep in their first-round French Open match.