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Alison Riske - second round

Friday 28 June 2013

Alison Riske's press conference after her 6-4, 6-3 win over Urszula Radwanska

Q.  Great win, huh?


Q.  Third set was really tough.  Last game was very long.  You didn't seem to get nervous and kind of clutched it out at the end.  Maybe you were nervous.

ALISON RISKE:  Yeah, I was really nervous, but I tried to keep telling myself that I wasn't really at Wimbledon.  You know, I was trying to make a scene in my head.

Yeah, it took a few match points.  I told myself if I was going to lose that last game her serving I was going to do did it aggressive.

So I went for a few returns; no luck on them.  Ultimately it worked out in the end.

 Q.  That one return that you missed by, I don't know, an inch or two, and the crowd screamed prematurely.  That made you laugh, right?

ALISON RISKE:  I had to laugh because he was from my camp and he thought I won.  I screamed because I was like, How do I miss that?

And then he was like, Yeah.  I was like, No celebrating yet.  It's not over.  You had to laugh because his reaction was priceless.

 Q.  When you were imagining you weren't at Wimbledon was it at Birmingham, or what was it?

ALISON RISKE:  I just try to picture myself not ‑‑ basically just playing my game.  I said, you know, not at Wimbledon, but just like being calm and playing how I was getting me to that point, you know.

So, yeah.

 Q.  What is it that you feel in your game on grass that is different than what you feel on other surfaces?  Because the results obviously grass is in a league of its own for you.

ALISON RISKE:  Yeah, well, I think ultimately it's a mental thing.  I think now I'm going to be able, you know, to hopefully get past that.  If I can play like that here, I feel like I should be able to play like that anywhere.

Yeah, I just feel like the grass suits my game.  I feel comfortable on it.  I love moving forward, being aggressive.

Yeah, but I hope to translate the results from grass on to other surfaces.

 Q.  So mostly moving forward, that helps you most, do you think?

ALISON RISKE:  Yeah.  I definitely think that is part of it.

 Q.  So you train at Junior Champions Tennis Center?


 Q.  Talk about that.  What's cool there?  There are a lot of different people, coaches.  What appeals to you?

ALISON RISKE:  Well, it's been an amazing few months there.  My coach and his wife Yves and Patricia Boulais, they just got jobs there.  Wherever they go I'm going because they're amazing.

Well, I just love being around all the kids.  They're all amazing tennis players.  They're a lot of fun to be around.  I think I've thrived in that environment.  Even though they're all younger than me, I feel like I'm one of them.

Yeah, and Mats Wilander, you know, he's one of the coaches that kind of talked to the kids there, and I sat down and talked with him a couple months ago before I left for Paris.

They just have great people at that place.  I'm really lucky to be able to be there.

 Q.  You went into this match with a losing record against her.  Did you change anything ‑ you were playing her forehand a lot ‑ or was it just you played better on the big points?

ALISON RISKE:  I thought I had a winning record against her.

 Q.  I thought you lost the last time.

ALISON RISKE:  I did lose the last time.

 Q.  So what did you switch up today?  What was really the key for you?

ALISON RISKE:  Well, it always just comes down to me playing my game.  That's the bottom line.  Whether I went here or there a little bit more, you know, that all differs with how I'm feeling out there and how I feel like she's reciprocating what I give her, what she's giving back to me.

Yeah, I just try to play my game, be aggressive, and stay in it until the end.

 Q.  Has seeing some of the other Americans around your age having success, is that contagious?  What are your thoughts on that?

ALISON RISKE:  Yeah, definitely.  I mean, I think it's wonderful.  I feel like now we have so many players.  I think we had 14 women in the main draw, which is unbelievable.

Obviously mine, I have to thank, you know, the Wimbledon Committee and Andrew Jarrett because they awarded me the wildcard.

Yeah, there were 14 of us.  Yeah, it's wonderful to see your friends doing well.  We have a support system with each other.

Yeah, hopefully we can keep it going.

 Q.  Who did you know the best among the Americans?

ALISON RISKE:  Melanie Oudin is my very best friend.  I'm close with Shelby Rogers.  We're all friendly, but yeah they're definitely my...

 Q.  How far back do you and Melanie go?

ALISON RISKE:  Well, we played juniors together when I trained at USTA for maybe eight, ten months.  She, Shelby, and I actually rented a place in Boca Raton together.  That's when we got close.

 Q.  What was that like?

ALISON RISKE:  We never were actually all three in it at the same time.  That was kind of crazy.  Melanie ended up going to New York, I ended up leaving, and then Shelby is still there.

 Q.  Did you sell that?  Shelby was complaining she was still paying rent.

ALISON RISKE:  Like I said, we were just renting it.  But she's still there.  She paid rent.  When I left I paid rent, so Shelby was the only one actually in it.

That's a small price to pay for being where you want to be.

 Q.  What goes through your mind when you watch Serena Williams?

ALISON RISKE:  I would love to play her.  I think she's amazing.  I mean, she's obviously very dominant and I think she's incredible.

 Q.  So what degree do you model your game, if at all, after her or any other players who you've seen?

ALISON RISKE:  I can't say I do.  But, yeah, I just respect how she plays, how she fights.

Yeah, I don't really try to model my game after anyone else.

 Q.  When Melanie reached US Open quarters, do you remember that?


 Q.  What were you doing at the time and what were you thinking?

ALISON RISKE:  Oh, that's a really good question.  Obviously I was extremely proud of her.  I was hoping that she was going to keep rolling.

Yeah, I was extremely happy for you.

 Q.  Were you surprised?  I think you were 17 then and you were basically out of juniors.  You maybe still were playing juniors, no?

ALISON RISKE:  Yes.  Yeah.  I don't even know what I was doing at the time, to be honest.

No, I wasn't really surprised, because she has a way about fighting herself, too, that I think is really unique.  No, you never know what can happen out here, either.  That's the great part of it.

 Q.  Did it kind of inspire you to say, Here is my really good friend from juniors.  If she's doing that, maybe it'll be me?

ALISON RISKE:  Yeah, definitely.  I mean, I don't really think like that.  But to some extent, yeah, if she can do it maybe I could, too.

 Q.  There are a lot of young players with the USTA.  Talk about your coaching situation.  Do you work out at the Champions Center, too?  Talk about that.

ALISON RISKE:  Yeah.  Well, like I said, I just started at the Champions Center probably four months ago.  That's when Yves and Patricia got their job there.

Yeah, I mean, even Patricia, we go way back.  I've always loved everything Yves has given to me.  I've received it very well.  It was just really hard at the time to be able to afford him, so I had to find other options.

But when it came down to it, you know, I was willing to do whatever it took because I realized that being with him, that was going to give me my best shot.

 Q.  Geoff MacDonald at Vanderbilt said he's extremely pleased what the you did today.  I wanted you to know that.

ALISON RISKE:  Thank you.

 Q.  In view of all this, do you have any regrets not playing college tennis?

ALISON RISKE:  That was really nice of Geoff.  He's absolutely amazing, first of all.

I can't say that I do.  You know, I obviously would not be sitting here.  This is something that's so extremely unique and special.  I definitely wouldn't trade it for the world.

Maybe down the road I'll be able to be with Geoff.

 Q.  I think you're the fourth, if I'm counting right, American woman into the third round in this tournament.  First time on the men's side no one is in the third round since 1912.


 Q.  What do you think the women are doing well that the men haven't been able to do?

ALISON RISKE:  Well, it was just a rare year.  It's kind of crazy with what happened here at Wimbledon.

Yeah, it's great that the women pulled through, but I think our American men have been doing great, too.  We have a lot inside the top 100.  We have new ones are coming up.

So I don't think they're doing anything wrong.

 Q.  Do you think there are major differences in the different paths that have been taken?  Are the women generally doing something different than the guys are doing ‑ as much as you know about the guy's path?

ALISON RISKE:  I don't know too much about the guys and what they do.  I'm not really close with any of them so I don't really know.

But I think we probably do things fairly similar.  That's why we're all here, you know.

 Q.  I read I think yesterday that you're carrying your blanket from when you were a baby around and it's like a rag now; is that true?

ALISON RISKE:  Yes, it's very true.  It's not exactly considered ‑‑ a rag is being generous, actually, because it's like ‑‑ you hold it like this and it just sits right here.  (In the palm of her hand)  even though it was four feet by four feet.

It goes everywhere.

 Q.  It's a real security blanket?  You got the whole Linus thing going on?

ALISON RISKE:  Exactly, just like Linus.  I never heard that before, but it's true.

 Q.  What color is it?

ALISON RISKE:  Well, now it's like a very faded musky green, like dirty looking color.

 Q.  You win the next round will you show it to us?

ALISON RISKE:  Well, it won't be on court with me, but we'll see about that.  It's like the Twitter thing.  I don't know.


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