At the risk of sounding melancholy, it is with some degree of sadness that we report that Alison Riske has sent Ash Barty out of The Championships at Wimbledon.
Barty had a win streak of 15 matches, which is quite a run in women’s tennis, although in pales by comparison to the 66 straight won by the 74 of Martina Navratilova, who reached that figure in 1984.
The 2019 French Open champion lost to the unseeded American player from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Riske has never risen above the 36th ranking in the world and despite boasting a 56 percent winning rate over more than 400 matches, her current ranking of 89th suggests that women’s tennis does not have the equivalent of Navratilova, Court, Graf of the Williams sisters at the moment.
The final score of 3 – 6, 6 – 2, 6 – 3 for Riske suggests that Barty came out and assumed control, but could not maintain that control.
Riske now finds herself facing a quarterfinals showdown with Serena Williams, whose sister Venus won 35 consecutive to hold the record for women’s singles in the 21st century.
The loss by Barty does not threaten her No. 1 ranking, but that is small consolation, as everyone expected her to beat Riske.
Riske was the very model of making the most of her opportunities. She gained four chances to break Barty’s serve and broke Barty all four times.
Barty would later say, Tough one. I think I started well. I was sticking to how I wanted to play,” Barty said. “Then in the second set, I think my serve let me down. I let Alison get back into the match too many times, having looks at second serves.Overall, I didn’t play a poor match. When I needed to, when the big moments were there, Alison played better today. Tough one to swallow but I lost to a better player.”
Over on the men’s side, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have all advanced to the quarterfinals with easy wins over their respective opponents, so it would seem that form is truer in men’s than in women’s.