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Riske wins Tennis Classic of Troy

The USTA Tennis Classic of Troy wrapped up its seventh annual installment Sunday, and tournament director Eric Hayes said the event was a great success.

“This is the seventh year we’ve done it, and I think the turnout for the final this year was the best turnout we’ve ever had,” Hayes said. “Throughout the week, we just had a steady flow of people coming through.”

Hayes said the tournament’s recognition has grown, which has led to people traveling to Troy to watch the tournament.

“We were actually getting people to drive in for the tournament from Dothan or Montgomery, which is something that never happened in the first few years we had it,” Hayes said.

The level of competition in the tournament is undeniably high, as many players that have garnered national recognition have made their way to Troy at some point.

“We’re getting top-100 players almost every year,” Hayes said. “Last year, we had Melanie Oudin in this tournament. Of course, she did great at Wimbledon and really captured America’s heart at the U.S. Open, so those are the kind of players we have coming through.”

The tournament has been helped by the USTA, which promotes opportunities for American tennis players.

“We also had two young Americans playing in the final, which is something the circuit tries to promote,” Hayes said.

Alison Riske took home the championship after defeating Christina McHale in the championship match 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.

Riske took home $50,000 as the winner, and said the win in Troy would help her as she progresses in her professional tennis career.

“The win hasn’t really set in yet, but this is a big confidence booster for me and also something that could propel my career forward,” Riske said.

Hayes said tennis fans should keep an eye out for both Riske and McHale in the future.

“I think these two ladies who were in the finals here both have very bright futures ahead of them,” Hayes said.

With the 2009 tournament in the past, Hayes has already turned his attention to the 2010 Classic.

“We certainly want to keep doing it and helping it to grow,” Hayes said. “The help we get from the city is unbelievable.”