For a few fleeting moments on Tuesday at Wimbledon, Serena Williams found her chances of tying Margaret Court’s 24 major titles threatened. The person imposing that danger was compatriot Alison Riske, who had drawn the first blood in the third set of their quarterfinal encounter. Serena would go on to win the match, but Riske, a first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, did not leave the tournament empty handed.
As a reward for reaching her maiden All England Club final eight, the Libema Open champion was inducted into the tournament’s prestigious Last 8 Club, an association which recognizes the players’ efforts “in creating the special heritage of the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament.”
She is joined by other first-timers that include 33-year-old Barbora Strycova, 24-year-old Elina Svitolina, 22-year-old Karolina Muchova, 30-year-old Zhang Shuai, 28-year-old David Goffin, 29-year-old Guido Pella, and 31-year-old Roberto Bautista Agut.
I worked my big butt off for this moment and I could not be more proud of myself! My favorite tournament and place in the world just got even more special. Thank you to my family who sacrificed their world for me, to my team who is always pushing me, and to my opponents who brought the best out of me. And a special thank you to everyone that sends me good vibes and follows me along this journey. You make it pretty fun!???????? Thank you @wimbledon for outdoing yourselves each year????????❤️????????Last 8 Club & feeling good????????????????ps. GO SERENA!!!
“I think I’m getting teary-eyed just hearing that,” Riske said. “What a special moment. What a special thing to be a part of. I’m so humbled and I’m just really so honored.
“And as [club overseer John Feaver] mentioned, you’re here with past champions and people who have done so much for our game, and how lucky I am to be a part of it.”
The 29-year-old American from Pittsburg joins an impressive list of former and current champions that includes Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Venus and Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Angelique Kerber, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep.
With a lifetime membership, some of the perks include Wimbledon credentials, Centre Court and Court 1 seats and use of the private hospitality suite.