Capitalizing on lucky loser spot, Riske remains sole American in Doha

Capitalizing on lucky loser spot, Riske remains sole American in Doha

In her Qatar debut, the 28-year-old already has four matches under her belt before some players have even played one.

DOHA—Alison Riske is the only American in the main draw of the Qatar Total Open and while she needed a lucky loser spot to get there, she capitalized on her opportunity on Tuesday by taking out Polina Hercog.

Riske's 6-2, 6-3 win puts her into the second round of the WTA Premier event, picking up 55 valuable WTA points. 

Hercog was also a lucky loser after the draw saw multiple players pull out at the last minute, giving all four third-round qualifying losers a chance to play again. Riske would be the only one of the four to survive the first round, and the player who beat her in qualifying, Lin Zhu, lost her opener to Anett Kontaveit.

In a karmic way, Riske is in her rightful place in the main draw. She was the No. 2 seed in qualifying, meaning she was just two spots away from the main draw. Had just half of the fourth withdrawals come a few days earlier, she would have been spared the grind of qualifying. 

The Shenzhen finalist has now played four matches in four days, while some players, like top seed Simona Halep, have yet to play a match. In the end though, it could give Riske a massive edge since she's mastering the tricky, windy conditions in Doha. 

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