PT’s Riske gets Wimbledon invite
LONDON – For the third time in four years, Peters Township native Alison Riske will be taking the court at the the All England Club for Wimbledon.
Riske, who turns 23 July 3, was among a group of players selected as wild cards Tuesday to compete at Wimbledon, which begins June 24.
Now ranked 126th in the world among women’s singles players – down from a high of 104th in 2011 – Riske also played at Wimbledon in 2010 and 2011, losing in the first round on both occasions.
Riske lost in the semifinals of the Wimbledon qualifer, the Aegon Classic, to Daniela Hantuchova June 15, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
It marked the second WTA semifinal appearance for Riske, who also reached the semifinals of the Aegon Classic in 2010.
“I’m just really comfortable here; I’m at home,” Riske told reporters following the loss to Hantuchova. “I think that’s just for England in general. It’s really low key here, the atmosphere is friendly, everything’s run well, you don’t have any anxiety about anything, everything’s taken care of. It’s the perfect position to play well, and I really love it here.”
Steve Johnson of the United States joined Frenchman Nicolas Mahut as a wild card at Wimbledon.
The 100th-ranked Johnson, from Orange, Calif., will play in the singles at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament for the first time since becoming a full-time professional last summer. He won the ATP Challenger title at Nottingham last week to earn his wild card.
Mahut, loser of the longest match in tennis history, had already been granted his invitation. The French player lost 70-68 in the fifth set to John Isner in a first-round Wimbledon match three years ago that stretched over three days.
Also receiving wild cards for the tournament were British duo James Ward and Kyle Edmund. The 18-year-old Edmund won his first match on the ATP Tour at the Aegon International this week. He’s joined by Matthew Ebden of Australia, who won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open in January with Jarmila Gajdosova.
In addition to Riske, the women’s wild cards include five British players: Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Johanna Konta, Tara Moore and Samantha Murray. They’re joined by Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic and Andrea Petkovic of Germany.
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