In a battle between two first-time finalists, Alison Riske captured her first career WTA final on Sunday at the inaugural edition of the Tianjin Open with a straight sets victory over WTA Rising Star Belinda Bencic.
The sixth seed, who reached the semi-final with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Zheng Saisai, stormed through her match against the Swiss youngster, as she lead 6-3, 4-1 before facing some slight resistance from Bencic to level the score 4-4. However, Riske would once again break serve and close out the contest.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for me to win my first WTA title,” Riske said after the match, “and I was here by myself, which made it even more special, just to know that I was able to do it by myself. I hope I can keep up the momentum and try to compete every week as best as I can.
“Obviously there was a little momentum change in the second set,” she said, “but that was because Belinda upped her level at that point. She’s been playing so well this year and has a really bright future ahead of her. I knew coming into the match that it would be a battle and it really was.”
Riske received $43,000 and 280 ranking points for her victory at the international event, while Bencic – who was campaigning to be the youngest WTA title winner in the last eight years – won $21,4000 and 180 ranking points.