By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Alison Riske def. Ashleigh Barty  3-6 6-2 6-3
- Riske reaches first Slam quarter-final
WIMBLEDON, UK – World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty’s amazing 15-match winning streak came to an end at the hands of Alison Riske, as the first big casualty of Manic Monday.
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Alison Riske def. Ashleigh Barty  3-6 6-2 6-3
When World No. 1 and the latest Slam winner on the WTA block, Ashleigh Barty started her match with four straight aces, few would be forgiven for thinking she would be notching up match-win no. 16, as she took the lead in as much time has it was taking Elina Svitolina and Petra Martic to get through six games, elsewhere around the grounds.
Even though Alison Riske pegged Barty back from that first break, the Aussie regained the advantage immediately. However, Riske’s persistence started to pay off, resulting in Barty dropping just her second set in that remarkable run.
Scoreboard pressure played its part, with just a single, pivotal break in the third to Riske to upend the most relaxed Slam winner and World No. 1 we have seen in a while!
She said, after the match: “I think I started well. I was sticking to how I wanted to play. Then in the second set, I think my serve let me down. I let Alison get back into the match too many times, having looks at second serves.
“Overall, I didn’t play a poor match. When I needed to, when the big moments were there, Alison played better today. Tough one to swallow but I lost to a better player.”
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Perennially positive or just the right amount of perspective
After seeing the chaos surrounding Naomi Osaka’s first Slam win, and watching her back it up with the Australian Open to show it was not a fluke, not many would have predicted quite the ‘wheels coming off’ scenario we saw in France, the run up to Wimbledon and then at Wimbledon itself.
Barty, in that regard, has had the perspective from one who took time away from the sport after being burnt out, said in Paris she did not regret that one bit, and had she not taken the time away, she would never have been in this position.
Throughout the past eight weeks or so, she has been a vision of perennial positivity – but there is no doubt this hurt – just a little bit.
She continued: “It’s incredibly tough right now. But in saying that, it’s also only a tennis match. I try to do everything I can to win the tennis match. If I don’t, the sun is still going to come up tomorrow. I have an incredible team of people around me who love me and support me and are with me through this journey.
“It’s easy to go back now and chat to them about it. There are so many things we wish we had done. The what ifs. That’s not what we try to focus on that. We focus on the positives. The positives of what have been over the last two months, last six months, and for this year, it’s been incredible.
“Today wasn’t my day, but that’s not going to define us as a team, it’s not going to define me as a person. I think that’s the most important thing.”
The Ladies’ quarter-finals will take place on Tuesday.
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