Riske Defuses Giorgi To Reach Shenzhen Final
Published January 06, 2017 12:13
Breaks at the end of the first and start of the second sets paved the way to a 6-3, 6-3 victory and a final showdown against Katerina Siniakova.
"I'm very happy to get through to another final here," Riske said. "Because she hits so hard and plays so aggressively, you just have to react a lot of the time, and just look to get the ball back one more time, one more time! Whether that be slice, a high ball, whatever that may be to get the ball back in play and hope for the best sometimes."
Faced with an early onslaught from Giorgi, Riske did well to maintain her composure, fending off a couple of break points before striking herself in the seventh game. From here the tide began to turn, the American's intelligent retrieving frustrating Giorgi's blistering baseline assault.
Giorgi fired long to surrender the first set and her misery was compounded when Riske swiftly pocketed the first three games of the second. With victory within reach, Riske showed no sign of wavering on her own serve, keeping the Italian at bay to reach a fifth career final.
Four of these have now come in China, a statistic the World No.39 attributed to her growing legion of supporters: "I always feel comfortable in China. I feel comfortable in a lot of places, though, so maybe it is more of a coincidence. I have a lot of really good support here, too, and I'm really grateful for that.
"Any time there is a final, I'm just happy to be there - wherever it is, I'll take it!"
Having lost to top seed Radwanska in last year's final, Riske finds herself up against the unseeded Siniakova this time around. However, despite her edge in terms of both ranking and experience, she lost their only previous meeting on tour, and is wary of the young Czech's ability.
"I hope this time around it goes a little differently," Riske added. "She's been playing extremely well, she's a young, up-and-coming player, although she's kind of already established herself at the top. It will be very tough, so I'm just going to have to focus on myself and do the best I can."