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Dublin: 20 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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World number one crashes out of Wimbledon

Australian Ashleigh Barty lost her fourth-round tie to Alison Riske this afternoon.

Barty (left) and Riske shakes hands.
Barty (left) and Riske shakes hands.
Image: Steven Paston

WORLD NUMBER ONE Ashleigh Barty was knocked out of Wimbledon today, losing her fourth round tie against soon-to-be-wed Alison Riske of the United States.

French Open champion Barty, bidding to become the first Australian champion at Wimbledon since 1980, lost 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to the world number 55.

Riske, who will marry Stephen Amritraj, the son of former Indian Davis Cup player Anand, after Wimbledon, goes on to face either seven-time champion Serena Williams or Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the semi-finals.

It will be the 29-year-old’s first appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final.

“I had to play aggressive. I had to take it to Ash,” said Riske

“The grass definitely brings out the best in me. Hopefully it will rub off and happen in other places too.

I have a great return game and I think grass just really suits my game and I feel at home here. I really don’t want Wimbledon to end.”

On the prospect of facing Williams for a place in the last four, she said: “Bring it on!”

Defeat brought an end to 23-year-old Barty’s 15-match winning run.

However, she had been dominant at the start on Monday, serving up four successive aces in the opening game on Court 2 before breaking for a 3-1 lead.

Riske, who had spent four more hours on court than the Australian in getting this far, retrieved the break in the eighth game but it was a brief reprieve as Barty took the opener.

Riske had won the grass court title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the run-up to Wimbledon and her credentials on the surface eventually shone through as the match progressed.

She broke in the fourth and eighth games of the second set and carved out the key break of the decider in the eighth game.

It was all over when Barty speared a forehand wide of the court.

Riske had reached her second career Grand Slam fourth round the hard way, coming back from a 1-4 final set deficit to defeat Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the first round.

She then needed a 9-7 third set to see off Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic before hitting back from 0-3 down in the decider to beat Swiss 13th seed Belinda Bencic in the third round.

I’m so excited. I think ultimately, I’m just so proud of myself for the way I handled today’s match.

“Just to overcome the matches the way that I have, I think that’s ultimately what I’m most excited about,” added the American.

“The quarter-finals is amazing but the way that I’ve been fighting, that is what is most exciting for me.”

© – AFP, 2019

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