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Riske Wins Ponte Vedra Beach Wildcard Event, Earns Qualifying Berth At Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's MPS

Posted on March 16, 2009

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- As the U.S. searches for the next women's tennis champions to take the baton from Venus and Serena Williams, keep an eye on Alison Riske.

Last weekend the 19-year-old from Pennsylvania won the Ponte Vedra Veach Wildcard Challenge, a pre-qualifying tournament for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's MPS Group Championships event on April 4-5 at the Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The weekend prior to The MPS Group Championships, Riske will compete in the singles qualifying, putting her a few wins away from earning a spot in the main draw.

"I'm so excited to have won this event and look forward to the opportunity to play into The MPS Group Championships," said Riske, who defeated Boca Raton nationally-ranked teen Allie Will 7-5, 7-5 in the 2-1/2 hour final. The event was organized by the First Coast Tennis Foundation, the Jacksonville area's official USTA Florida Community Tennis Association (CTA).

Riske was the No. 1-ranked U.S. junior in 2007, and a practice partner on the U.S. Fed Cup team last year when they traveled to Russia.

The qualifying at The MPS Group Championships will be the first of two consecutive Sony Ericsson WTA Tour qualifying events in two weeks for Riske. Last month she won the SMASH Junior Cup in South Carolina, which earned her a wildcard into the qualifying for The Family Circle Cup in Charleston, which follows the tour event in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Riske arrived in Ponte Vedra Beach at midnight before the start of play the next day, driving from South Carolina only after learning she received a place in the draw after another player pulled out. The experience of two tour events in one month will help the 19-year-old when her college career begins, as she has committed to play for Vanderbilt.

About The MPS Group Championships
The MPS Group Championships is a premier women's professional tennis tournament, part of the worldwide Sony Ericsson WTA Tour consisting of more than 2,000 players representing 90 nations competing for $70.8 million in prize money at the Tour's 60 events in 34 countries. The tournament is owned and operated by Octagon and hosted at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In 2009, the tournament celebrates its 30th anniversary on Florida's First Coast, April 6-12. For more information, please visit or call 800.486.8366.

About First Coast Tennis Foundation
The First Coast Tennis Foundation (FCTF) is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization that was established in 1995. It is recognized by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) as the area's official Community Tennis Association. The Board of Directors is comprised of local leaders in the business and tennis community. The FCTF works in cooperation with USTA, the Northeast Florida Professional Tennis Association, First Coast area Parks and Recreation Departments, and First Coast area school systems.  Further information on the First Coast Tennis Foundation can be found on the Internet at

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