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Alison Riske (born July 3, 1990) is a professional American tennis player. Her highest WTA singles ranking is 104, which she reached on May 9, 2011. Her career high in doubles is 199, which she reached on November 7, 2011.

Early life and career[edit]Edit

The daughter of Al and Carol Riske, she first played tennis at the age of 3 years old after her dad took her out to hit. Her father worked in the secret service and later as an FBI investigator, while her mother was a school teacher, but both are now retired. Her sister, Sarah, is also a tennis player who played for Vanderbilt and had a brief professional career,reaching as high as No. 372. Her brother, Dan, played college tennis for West Liberty State, and is now an accountant.

Educated by the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, she played the fall of 2006 for Peters Township High School, where she led the girls' tennis team to the Pennsylvania State championship, and won the championship in singles. The following year, she won the USTA National Collegiate Clay Court Championship to earn a spot in the US Open qualifying draw, where she won her first match over Sorana Cîrstea before losing to Julie Ditty. She also won the ITA Summer Claycourt Championship and finished second at the USTA National Hardcourts that year. In early 2008, she earned the No. 1 ranking in her country in Girls 18s competition. She got her first taste of the professional circuit later that year, when she served as a hitting partner for the United States Fed Cup team in their semifinal against Russia.

In her early career, Riske was coached by Janice Irwin, coach of the girls' tennis team at nearby Upper St. Clair High School. She later begun working with Yves Boulais, the husband of former professional Patricia Hy-Boulais, alongside her sister, Sarah. She is currently working with Tom Gullickson of the USTA. Riske also trains at Van Der Meer in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Professional career[edit]Edit

2009–10[edit]Edit

Riske came into 2009 ranked 895 in the world. A senior in the class of 2009, she had signed a letter of intent to play college tennis at Vanderbilt University.

Riske dabbled in a few pro tournaments with small success until May. Finding impressive form, Riske began a run on the ITF Women's circuit. As a qualifier, she reached the semifinals of a pro tournament in Indian Harbour Beach. In June she reached the finals of a tournament in Hilton Head, and again as a qualifier reached the semifinals of a tournament in Boston. Her form continued as she reached another semifinal, this time in Atlanta.

By the time of the US Open, Riske's ranking had improved to 344, over 500 places from when she started the year. She was granted a wildcard into the qualifying tournament of the US Open, but fell in three sets to Yulia Fedossova. Before the US Open Riske made the decision to give up her scholarship to Vanderbilt and turn professional largely in part due to her breakthrough year. Riske continued her form to the end of the year where she broke through in her first professional tournament in Troy, Alabama. Again as a qualifier she made another impressive run to claim the title over compatriot Christina McHale.

She finished the year ranked at No. 232.

Riske begun 2010, her first full season as a professional, by reaching the semifinals of an ITF event in Rancho Mirage. She played in several qualifying tournaments for WTA events with little success until June, when she qualified for the Aegon Classic, a grass court event, and went on to have her professional breakthrough, earning wins over Aleksandra WozniakAnna Chakvetadze and Yanina Wickmayer before losing in three sets to Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. This led to her being offered a main draw wildcard to Wimbledon, her Grand Slam debut, where she lost in a rematch against Wickmayer in the first round.

In October 2010, Riske completed an impressive run of winning an ITF 75k, 50K and 50K in three straight weeks.

In 2011, Riske reached the finals of 50k in Indian Harbor, Florida. A few weeks later she had success on grass reaching the semis of Nottingham and quarter finals of a WTA event Aegon Classic. Riske completed 2011 with a successful run in Europe winning a 50k in Joué-lès-Tours and Limoges and finishing the year ranked 136.

Career statistics[edit]Edit

ITF Circuit singles finals (6–3)[edit]Edit

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner–up 1. June 1, 2009 Hilton Head, United States Hard [1]

Alexandra Mueller

1–6, 6–3, 3–6
Winner 1. October 5, 2009 Troy, United States Hard [2]

Christina McHale

6–4, 2–6, 7–5
Runner–up 2. September 20, 2010 Saguenay, Canada Hard [3]

Rebecca Marino

4–6, 7–6(4), 6–7(5)
Winner 2. October 4, 2010 Barnstaple, Great Britain Hard [4]

Johanna Larsson

6–2, 6–0
Winner 3. October 11, 2010 Joué-lès-Tours, France Hard [5]

Vesna Manasieva

5–7, 6–4, 6–1
Winner 4. October 18, 2010 Saint Raphaël, France Hard [6]

Urszula Radwańska

6–4, 6–2
Runner–up 3. May 8, 2011 Indian Harbour Beach, United States Clay [7]

Melinda Czink

6–4, 1–6, 4–6
Winner 5. October 16, 2011 Joué-lès-Tours, France Hard [8]

Akgul Amanmuradova

2–6, 6–2, 7–5
Winner 6. November 6, 2011 Nantes, France Hard [9]

Iryna Brémond

6–1, 6–4

ITF Circuit doubles finals (1–3)[edit]Edit

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. June 1, 2009 Hilton Head, United States Hard [10]

Jacqueline Cako

[11]

Natalie Pluskota [12]Caitlin Whoriskey

6–3, 3–6, 10–6
Runner–up 1. July 20, 2009 Lexington, United States Hard [13]

Jacqueline Cako

[14]

Chang Kai-chen [15]Tetiana Luzhanska

3–6, 2–6
Runner–up 2. February 13, 2011 Midland, United States Hard [16]

Irina Falconi

[17]

Jamie Hampton [18]Anna Tatishvili

Walkover
Runner–up 3. April 24, 2011 Dothan, United States Clay [19]

Heidi El Tabakh

[20]

Valeria Solovieva [21]Lenka Wienerová

3–6, 4–6

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