Alison Riske again comes off the back of a great grass court season; she possesses an impressive 26-5 win-loss record for the last two seasons. Making the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, losing out to Serena Williams, was a sterling effort. Riske will have been disappointed not to take the tight three set match.
WTA Rogers Cup Presents a Hard Court Challenge for Alison Riske
At Wimbledon, there was not even the consolation of being the most prolific serve and volleyer. That honor went to Barbora Strycova. Be rest assured that Riske is not at the WTA Rogers Cup in Canada just to pass the time until next year’s grass court season. A 13-9 hard-court record year-to-date shows she is no slouch, but there is room for improvement.
Riske Shows No Ill-Effects From Wimbledon, pummeling Zhao in Rogers Cup Qualifying
69% of return points in an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 drubbing over Canada’s Carol Zhao shows that Riske is far more than a power server. Alison Riske is #2 seed for qualifying and looks sharp and focused for the North American hard-court swing. The 29 year old American Alison Riske never let Zhao settle. She bossed the match from the first point. After a winless clay season, it’s important for Alison Riske to build more surface versatility, she is more than a spring time grass courter.
Compatriot Varvara Lepchenko Stands Between Riske and the Main Draw
They say “familiarity breeds indifference.” This could certainly be the case for World #61 Alison Riske and World #127 Varvara Lepchenko, who’ve met five times before. Lepchenko leads 3-2, or if you isolate the hard-court matches it is 3-1. This is a good chance and benchmark for Riske to show commitment to hard-court form improvement. She didn’t need to rifle those first serves down with maximum potency against Zhao, but will against Lepchenko: that’s for sure.
Alison Riske played a great deal of tennis during the grass season, but early signs are that she is still fresh. She can use this momentum to edge over the line in a tricky match. I think Riske pulls through this in three sets.
Don’t Underestimates Alison Riske’s Improved Form
Alison Riske is on the way towards her first plus win – loss, hard-court record in what will be three seasons. The clay court season aside, Riske has looked a sharper, more confident player this season. Safely negotiating her final qualifier will present her with a good opportunity to build her reputation on hard-courts. She is playing well enough to take opportunities that come her way.
Main Photo from Getty