American world No.55 Alison Riske is through to her first Grand Slam quarterfinals with a comeback 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory over top-ranked Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round of Wimbledon.
In a match between players who have both won WTA titles this grass-court season, the 29-year-old Riske extended her win-loss record on the surface this year to 14-1, ending the 15-match winning streak of the 2019 Birmingham & Roland Garros champion Barty.
After opening the match with four aces in a row, Barty broke Riske in the American’s second service game and then held serve at love to race to a 4-1 lead. Even though Riske broke back in the seventh game, it was the Australian who prevailed, winning 93% of her first serve points and having a substantially better winners-to-unforced-errors differential than her opponent.
Tables turned in the 31-minute second set, as the unseeded Riske outperformed Barty at the net, in the number of winners compared to unforced errors and boasted a 100% break point conversion, never even allowing the Australian to earn a break point of her own. This was Barty’s first loss of a set this grass-court season!
In the second set, Barty won just 29% of her receiving points, but the Australian further degraded that number in the decider, going to as low as 25%. On top of that, even though Barty played well when her first serves were in, her first serve percentage averaged at low 52%, despite the eight aces she hit.
A clean decider and a single break in the eighth game of the set were enough for Riske to dispatch Barty, whose No.1 WTA ranking could now be grabbed by Karolina Pliskova, as the Czech will return to the top if she reaches the final of Wimbledon this fortnight.
Ash Barty is one of the most refreshing women to come on the WTA scene in last year. No drama, no noise distraction behavior, all the shots, diverse game/evidence of tactical strategy, point composition, and absolutely no weak mental phase. Love watching her play, reminds me of Justin Henin a little bit, but she Ash has a bigger game and almost better ground strokes.