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Riske rewarded with first WTA title

NEW HAVEN, CT - AUGUST 19: Alison Riske of the USA celebrates her match win over Flavia Pennetta of Italy during the Connecticut Open at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale on August 19, 2014 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
October 12, 2014 12:06 PM
Alison Riske didn't drop a set on the way to winning her first WTA title.

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

Alison Riske has become the latest American to achieve a career breakthrough by winning her first WTA title at the Tianjin Open in Tianjin, China.

The 24-year-old and No.6 seed in the tournament didn’t drop a set all week, producing her best tennis in championship match to defeat No. 3 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, 6-3, 6-4. After rifling a backhand winner on match point, Riske dropped her racquet to the ground and burst into tears of happiness.

"It's a huge accomplishment for me to win my first WTA title," Riske told WTATennis.com. “I was here by myself, which made it even more special, just to know that I was able to do it by myself. I hope I can keep up the momentum and try to compete every week as best as I can."

With her victory on Sunday, the American jumped nearly 20 spots in the WTA rankings, to No. 44. Riske started the year ranked No. 57 and has produced steady results throughout 2014, reaching the quarterfinals at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in New Haven, Conn., and the WTA event in Hobart, Australia. She also advanced to the third round of the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

There was little time for Riske to celebrate her maiden WTA title, however. She’s scheduled to compete this week at the WTA Premiere event in Moscow, Russia, where she will face wild card Darya Kasatkina in the opening round.





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