PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh is known for producing some huge sports stars and we may soon have to add a new name to the list: Alison Riske.
She’s becoming a big deal in the tennis world and played in the U.S. Open Monday.
And the 23-year-old’s family was on the edge of their seats while watching her.
“Watching today — was a nail biter for sure,” said Riske’s aunt, Joyce Turkaly.
At some points, watching the match got quite stressful.
“There was a little bit of that, maybe walking out of the room, or telling people to settle down from people getting too excited,” said Riske’s cousin Chris Turkaly.
On Saturday, Riske got emotional talking about her success.
“My coach is so wonderful, I just feel like I’ve got new confidence in myself and I just believe that I belong here,” she said.
But her family realized how talented she is long ago, back when she was 16 years old.
“She was beating seniors in college,” said Riske’s cousin Steve Turkaly. “And she was a little skinny kid then and she was just destroying them.”
It was on a tennis court in Upper St. Clair where Riske often trained and in 2006, she led the girls tennis team at Peters Township High School to a state championship.
Her cousin Karlee Turkaly remembers hitting the tennis ball back and forth with her.
“We just kind of ping-ponged it back and forth,” Karlee Turkaly said. “I was not good.”
And despite Riske’s loss Monday, her family and friends have nothing but pride for the rising tennis star.
“I look forward to playing more tournaments playing against the better players and I think the experience – that’s what’s going to be great for me,” Riske said.