NEW YORK, BALIPOST.com – Alison Riske has made her name in tennis, but her biggest claim to fame might be the Bollywood dance moves from her wedding last month that became an internet sensation.
The 29-year-old American defeated two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza of Spain 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Tuesday in her first-round match at the US Open.
Riske next faces Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, in her first Grand Slam event since being married a month ago in her hometown of Pittsburgh to Stephen Amritraj, the nephew of India tennis legend Vijay Amritraj.
“The whole weekend was awesome, just to have everyone that we love together — it was really special,” Riske said. “There were so many highlights. The Pittsburgh cookie table was definitely a hit. I think my Bollywood dance went over well, as well.”
Riske admitted preparing for the dance brought nerves, but nothing like what she faces on the court.
“I practiced the Bollywood dance so much that I knew when I got up there, if I didn’t freeze, I was going to be OK,” Riske said. “Once I got past the initial first move I was ready to go.
“I take a lot more pride in my tennis than I do my Bollywood dance. I feel there’s more nerves associated with that than the dance.”
But she also admits that her dance moves got greater exposure, thanks to the internet, than any of her tennis matches.
“It was hilarious,” she said. “The amount of Indian magazines and Indian influencer pages that picked it up was really entertaining for me and my husband. We both really enjoyed that.
“Yeah, I can’t say I have ever had anything in my tennis career that got as many watches or likes.”
The wedding dance wasn’t Riske’s only exposure to India’s culture, a trip to visit her husband’s family paying dividends in exciting new ways for Riske. (AFP)