Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. In the end it got a little tricky there?
ALISON RISKE: Yeah, definitely. You know, I think it was a tough match for both of us. I mean, we came from Hawaii. We are, you know, way past our bedtime at this point.
You know, it was a tough match. You know, I just did the best I could. It worked out for me in the end.
Q. When exactly did you come? Straight from Hawaii?
ALISON RISKE: I did.
Q. When did you arrive here?
ALISON RISKE: I got in on Wednesday, last Wednesday.
Q. You should be done with that.
ALISON RISKE: Ah. You can say so for yourself (laughter).
Q. In terms of talking about the match and getting through it, I mean, at some point it must have been clear that maybe Coco wasn’t really firing the way she would want to fire. How difficult is it at that point to kind of stay focused of what you need to do and not be too concerned with what’s going on across the net?
ALISON RISKE: Yeah, well, I think she was having a little difficulty with her first serves. But she was starting to get back in rhythm in the second set there. I feel if I had let up just a little bit, things could have changed.
I was definitely proud of myself for staying in there and still dictating as best I could and not giving her an inch to come back.
Q. You guys are 4-4 now, but you have won 5 of the last 6. Do you have any thoughts on that?
ALISON RISKE: I have no idea of that stat, but I’ll happily take it. It’s in my favor (smiling).
But, yeah, I have no answer to that.
Q. How difficult is it playing a close colleague? You have played her quite a few times, obviously.
ALISON RISKE: Yeah. It can be difficult, especially we just had the best week, you know, together at Fed Cup. So it was unfortunate that we played each other first round.
But at the end of the day you have to focus on you, and there are so many Americans now in the top — you know, in the top. We are all friends, or at least I feel like we are.
You know, we’re going to be each other week in and week out, and it’s something that we’ve got to get used to. You just have to focus on you and not worry about the other person on the other side of net.
Q. Do you see yourselves as close, or do you really see it as, Oh, I just beat a seed? There is not that much of a difference in your ranking.
ALISON RISKE: Oh, I don’t really think about the seed. You know, obviously it’s nice just to win, whoever it’s against. You know, so I don’t particularly look at that. Yeah.
Q. So you got here on Wednesday. You were in Hawaii. You stayed in Hawaii. For those two days that you’re waiting for your flight — or is it one day you’re waiting for a flight to come to Dubai?
ALISON RISKE: Oh, it wasn’t waiting. It was literally that night. We got in — okay, so we got in late Tuesday.
Q. So then, yeah, you left the next day?
ALISON RISKE: No, we left that night. We left Sunday night and we got here Tuesday, Tuesday night. Yeah.
Q. That’s a long trip.
ALISON RISKE: It’s two days.
Q. You weren’t sitting by the tool?
ALISON RISKE: No, I was not sitting by the pool, as much as I wanted to.
Q. Has it been harder to get over the jet lag and get acclimated, or has it been harder to find rhythm on the court, very different conditions, weather has been weird, balls flying? What was the bigger struggle?
ALISON RISKE: Definitely jet lag. Honestly, I am pretty much over jet lag. It’s just at nighttime, I want to go to bed around 8:00. That’s just how it is.
But, I mean, I obviously am fine. I think this is the toughest jet lag of the year, honestly. This is really difficult for everyone. So we’re all in the same boat.
It’s something we have to deal with, so I definitely think jet lag over conditions. I mean, it’s not that different.
Q. How important would it be for you to be renamed to the Fed Cup team for April? Did you get any sense from Kathy what her thoughts are?
ALISON RISKE: Definitely, I mean, she’s not sure who is going to be available to play, so I haven’t had any — I haven’t heard about that yet. Obviously I would love to be back. I would love to play for Kathy, for the team.
It’s so funny, coming here after Fed Cup, it’s like such a letdown playing for just yourself after that. You know, you have so much at stake for a lot of different people, not just yourself.
You know, I think that was the biggest thing coming here. It was, like, shoot, where is everybody? Where’s the team?
So playing for Kathy was an honor. She’s a great person. Honestly, I had the best time so I hope that I can be welcomed back.
Q. Do you know much about Sevastova next?
ALISON RISKE: I think I played her. It’s been a while.
But yeah. Well, definitely my coach will get some scouting for me and we’ll go from there. Just keep fighting.