Peters Township’s Riske up for the challenge |

Peters Township’s Riske up for the challenge

When Alison Riske begins play at Wimbledon this week, she will face Vera Zvonareva — the tournament’s No. 2 seed and the No. 3 player in the world.

Riske, a Peters Township native ranked No. 118, lost to No. 15 seed Yanina Wickmayer in her first appearance at Wimbledon last year. With another year of experience, the 20-year-old welcomes the challenge of facing Zvonareva.

“I love hearing that kind of news because those are the moments you train for,” she said. “To be up against the top people in the world (is) a pretty rare and special moment.”

In the semifinals of the 2010 Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England, Riske battled second-seeded Maria Sharapova but ultimately lost, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

“It showed me that I can compete against the best in the world when I compete to my ability,” Riske said.

Earlier this month, she advanced to the quarterfinals of the Aegon Classic before losing to Daniela Hantuchova, 6-2, 6-4. She said she and her older sister, Sarah, who played tennis at Vanderbilt as well as professionally and has traveled with Alison as a coach for years, are enjoying their time in England.

“I love playing on grass, and I look forward to this part of the season,” Riske said.

Riske qualified for her first Australian Open in January; she fell to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round. At 20, she is beginning to establish herself as a regular on the major tournament circuit.

“The fact that I’m only 20 is great because I have so many years ahead of me to compete,” she said. “I have as good a chance in Wimbledon now as I will when I’m 30. Venus (Williams) is (31) and still rocking the tennis world.”

Alison Riske at a glance

Alison Riske of Peters Township will make her third appearance in a Grand Slam tournament this week at Wimbledon, opening against No. 2 seed Vera Zvonareva. Highlights from her professional career:

— Riske is 0-2 in Grand Slams, falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round of the Australian Open this year and to Yanina Wickmayer in the opener at Wimbledon in 2010.

— Last year, she earned a spot in the Wimbledon draw as a qualifier. This year, she reached the semifinals of the Aegon Classic to secure a spot.

— Currently No. 118 in the world, she has been ranked as high as 104th. Her career singles record is 110-75.

Career prize money won on the WTA Tour: $171,598.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.