Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Day 2 Action: American Alison Riske upset No. 13 seed Julia Goerges in the first round on Monday.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You played so much tennis in the last couple weeks. How are you feeling physically?
ALISON RISKE: I surprisingly feel great. I think this is what you train for, to be able to play a lot of matches. Honestly, I wouldn’t rather have it the other way, so…
Yeah, I’m excited to just be playing as much as possible. Obviously that means a few wins are coming, too, so I’m excited about that.
Q. You played her last week. What did you take from that match, if anything at all?
ALISON RISKE: To be honest, I had some chances last week to kind of take the match, in my opinion. I feel like I was a little bit tentative. I didn’t quite capitalize.
I knew if I kept giving myself the best chance today, keep playing my game, I was eventually going to have the same opportunity.
I didn’t quite serve it out. I lost the game at love, which wasn’t ideal. I was proud how I quickly bounced back.
Q. Were there nerves there at the ends of the sets?
ALISON RISKE: Towards the end of the second set, for sure. I just knew I didn’t want the same thing to happen as happened last week.
Yeah, it didn’t quite go exactly as planned, but this was the next best.
Q. How happy are you with your start to the year?
ALISON RISKE: Yeah, I’m definitely super excited. Like I said, just playing matches for me, trying to always put myself in the best position is kind of what I’m trying to do. Just trying to compete for every match. If they play too good, that’s just too good that day.
I’m just excited that I feel maybe things are coming together really well.
Q. Would you say it’s more of a mental improvement?
ALISON RISKE: 100%.
Q. Or experience?
ALISON RISKE: 100% I think at this level the majority is mental. Everyone is pretty darn good. I think on any given day, anyone can beat anyone, with the exception of maybe a few.
I think a lot of things have to do with mental approach, for sure.
Q. Playing so well on the hard courts this part of the year, is it just clicking now, having the experience of being in these tournaments more often?
ALISON RISKE: Yeah, I definitely feel that’s part of it. I’m 28 now. I’ve definitely been out here for almost 10 years. I hate to say it’s experience, because I’ve had experience a long time ago.
Maybe more of a maturity thing. I think we all mature at a different time. Mentally, I’m referring to. I like to think things are coming together.
Q. Was your off-season any different than past seasons?
ALISON RISKE: No. Off-season wasn’t different. Working with the same coach that I worked with the year prior. Yeah, I’m grateful to have a lot of good people around me. I think that’s also what it comes down to.
Q. How does this start affect your goals for 2019 that you might have set before the season started?
ALISON RISKE: I haven’t quite achieved any of them. In terms of getting to finals and things, obviously that’s a great thing. Ultimately you would like to win the title.
Yeah, I think, like I said, just keep trucking along, giving myself the best chance I can.
Q. Do you know who you’re playing next?
ALISON RISKE: Cornet.
Q. Your thoughts on that one?
ALISON RISKE: Yeah, I played her a few times. She’s definitely a feisty competitor. She’s always competing. Yeah, she’s a tough out. Again, I have to compete hard and look to be aggressive.
Q. How quickly did you arrive from Dubai to Doha, playing the semis in doubles?
ALISON RISKE: I arrived not yesterday, the day prior. Today is Monday. I arrived Saturday, yeah. I had a day, so…
Q. Ons won earlier, too. Did you speak to her after?
ALISON RISKE: I didn’t. I didn’t see her. I was so happy for her. We play later this afternoon, so it will be fun.
Q. You played so well to start the year with Jenny. How much does the doubles help your singles?
ALISON RISKE: Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve always played doubles, but I never quite felt comfortable out there. I’ve kind of used that uncomfortable feeling to improve in singles, too. I get uncomfortable in certain matches, certain stages.
I feel like the more you can put yourself in an uncomfortable position but succeed, I think that great things happen from that.
I’ve had some really great partners. Ons and Jenny, they’re awesome people, make it a lot of fun. I think that takes a lot of stress out of the situation, as well, because we’re just out there having fun.
Q. Ons and Jenny are so different. Is it just exposure, having all these different experiences?
ALISON RISKE: Well, it’s interesting. Ons and Jenny do play a lot differently. At the same time I think Ons has a big first serve and she likes her big forehand. At the same time, that’s Jenny’s strengths, as well. Ons is a little bit more finesse.
They’re awesome to play with. They’re definitely different, but it’s a great vibe on the court with both of them.