Archive for the 'Shahar Peer' Category


Samantha Stosur began her French Open campaign with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

Eighth seed Stosur, beaten in the 2010 final by Francesca Schiavone, was broken in game one but came through strongly to win in 68 minutes. The Australian will next face Romanian teenager Simona Halep, who thrashed Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2 6-1.

Tenth seed Jelena Jankovic beat Alona Bondarenko 6-3 6-1 but 19th seed Shahar Peer suffered a shock first-round exit. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Julia Goerges and Flavia Pennetta are among the other seeds in action on Sunday.

Stosur opened proceedings on Court Philippe Chatrier and looked like she might by in for a tough contest when Benesova stuck in the opening service game. But the 27-year-old from Queensland responded with four games in a row and was rarely troubled thereafter. She has one of the best kick serves in the women’s game and Benesova simply had no answer, with a single break in game six of the second set proving decisive. “It was nice to get back out there again and play a really solid first round,” said Stosur. “I thought I played really quite well today. I served quite well. “The conditions weren’t always easy with some gusts of wind. I’m very happy. “Obviously I thought of last year’s match but it was nice to get out there again and, of course, if you can play on any court here you’d want to play on that one.”

The first result of the tournament saw Halep ease past Kudryavtseva to set up a second-round meeting with Stosur, while 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova also won through. The Bulgarian, a shock semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2010, beat Casey Dellacqua of Australia 7-5 6-3 and will next face Argentina’s Gisela Dulko following her 6-3 6-4 triumph over American Irina Falconi. It was not all plain sailing for the bigger names, though, with Israel’s 19th seed Peer dumped out by Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. The unseeded Spaniard, who has failed to build on her shock win in Rome last year, edged the first set before running away with the second to triumph 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.



Shahar Peer and Flavia Pennetta both ousted in Miami.

All of the top names moved through, including Samantha Stosur, who put on a 62 61 clinic of former Top 15 player Zheng Jie. Stosur, the No.4 seed here, was ruthless during the 58-minute rout, breaking away from 2-all in the first set with nine straight games to lead 62 50, then even holding match points in that game; she closed it out in the next game. “I played quite well. I don’t think I hit the ball out of this world fantastic, but I did what I had to do,” Stosur said. “Against a player like Zheng, you want to be able to do that from start to finish. She competes hard for every single point..” Stosur, a quarterfinalist here the last two years, will next play No.30 seed Lucie Safarova, who beat Patty Schnyder earlier, 62 64. “We’ve had some tough matches in the past,” Stosur said. “Lucie is a good player who can pretty much beat anyone on her day. I haven’t played a lefty for a while. That’s something I’ll have to adjust to, especially on the return. Hopefully I’ll have a good match.” Safarova leads Stosur in their head-to-head series, 3-0.

Stosur’s fellow top seeds Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic also had wins under sunny skies. No.6 seed Jankovic rolled past Monica Niculescu, 63 61, while No.1 seed Wozniacki held off a late charge from Bethanie Mattek-Sands, letting a 5-3 second set lead go but eventually moving ahead, 62 75.

The first upsets of the week took place as well and they were surprisingly lopsided. No.10 seed Shahar Peer suffered a 62 62 setback to former Top 20 player Anabel Medina Garrigues, while No.13 seed Flavia Pennetta lost the last seven games of the match to fall to Czech lefty Iveta Benesova, 63 60.



Yanina Wickmayer will meet Bartoli in the semifinal.

Yanina Wickmayer overpowered Shahar Peer on Wednesday evening to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open and return to the Top 20.

The two held tightly to their service games early, neither coming close to being broken in the first five games; the No.23-seeded Wickmayer cracked the match open in the sixth game with a break at 15 and rode that wave until she was up, 63 51. Peer, the No.10 seed, won two games in a row to close to 63 53 but Wickmayer was too powerful on the return and broke again for a 63 63 win. “I woke up this morning and felt really good,” Wickmayer said. “I had a good practice and when I came out today I felt really good and powerful out there.”

Wickmayer is projected to return to the Top 20 on Monday’s rankings. She spent 50 career weeks in the Top 20 during the 2009 and 2010 seasons but fell out in October 2010 and has been hovering between No.22 and No.26 ever since. She peaked at No.12 in the world for three weeks last spring.

Next up for Wickmayer is No.15 seed Marion Bartoli, who beat No.19 seed Ana Ivanovic earlier on Wednesday. Bartoli leads Wickmayer in their head-to-head series, 2-0.


“It was a tough match today,” said Hantuchova.

Daniela Hantuchova proved her recent title win in Pattaya was no fluke as she fought back from a break down in the final set to knock sixth seed Victoria Azarenka out of the Qatar Ladies Open in Doha. Hantuchova, whose triumph in Thailand was her first in more than four years, showed plenty of spirit as she battled back from dropping the first set to win the first round clash 4-6 6-1 6-2.

Azarenka was the only seed to fall on day two although Dubai finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova suffered a surprisingly one-sided 6-2 6-4, 80-minute defeat to Israel’s eighth seed Shahar Peer. Fifth seed Jelena Jankovic beat wild card Falma Al Nabhani of Oman 6-1 6-3, Dominika Cibulkova edged past Jarmila Groth in a marathon final set tie-break, and Vera Dushevina and Flavia Pennetta were also winners.


Jankovic will try to make it five wins in a row over the new #1.

Caroline Wozniacki regained the number one ranking she lost only two weeks ago and will immediately face a Saturday semi-final test at the Dubai Championships against former top-ranked player Jelena Jankovic. Wozniacki, displaced for only a few weeks by Kim Clijsters after the Belgian won the Australian Open, earned a Dubai quarter-final victory over Shahar Peer Friday 6-2, 6-4. Serb Jankovic, who finished 2008 on the WTA top spot, outlasted fourth seed Samantha Stosur of Australia in a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) marathon lasting just under three hours. That pair produced 30 break point chances with only a third converted as Jankovic fought back from a breakdown in the final set and took victory in a tiebreaker. The emotional Serb has suddenly struck a seam of form after rallying in her final set 24 hours earlier from 5-3 down. It marked her first set of back-to-back wins since the US Open five months ago.

“My God, it’s been an amazing match,” said the winner. “I’m really happy with my performance overall. There were obviously a lot of ups and downs, but the win is the most important. “I was a little bit tired on the court (in the third set) and I felt that I almost had no gas in the tank. But with a positive attitude, I just telling myself to keep going one point at a time. “That’s what I did. I was able to break her, and it’s so tough to break her. I never gave up, and I came out as a winner.”

Wozniacki has never beaten Jankovic in four meetings but will be taking confidence into their upcoming meeting. “It’s nice to be back at number one, it’s a good feeling,” said the 20-year-old Dane. “I gave Kim one week. Hopefully now I’ll have it for a few more weeks. It’s just nice to be able to say you are number one, it’s a good feeling to have.” Wozniacki’s victory was her fifth from six meetings with Israeli Peer, who was competing in the emirate under heavy security with her matches all held on a well-guarded side court at the Aviation club.

Peer last year played under similar circumstances, reaching the semi-finals and losing to Venus Williams. That loss and this one spared organizers the problems of having to stage a final on a side court, with all logistic nightmares that would have meant. “I had a good start, I was very focused going into the match and knew what I had to do. I knew the (outside) court was going to a bit faster and was going to be a bit more open. “I know if I’m playing well that I’m tough to beat. I was happy about the way I started in both sets.” The Danish winner motored through the first set and took a 4-1 lead in the second before her game began to briefly stutter. Peer, whose level suddenly lifted after a poor afternoon, fought back standing down a double break, pulling to within striking distance at 4-5. But Wozniacki, her eye on the ranking prize, steadied enough to get the job done as she won on her first match point after 74 minutes. Peer, ranked 11th, was weighed down by 34 unforced errors in defeat.


Zvovareva advances in Dubai.

Vera Zvonareva overcame a slow start Wednesday to beat Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the Dubai Championships. The second-seeded Russian dropped serve twice in the opening set, but broke Vinci three times. Zvonareva was more comfortable in the second set, conceding no break opportunities, and she converted all three opportunities on the Italian’s serve. Zvonareva closed out the match when Vinci hit a return wide, and later said she needed time to adjust to the court after having a first-round bye. “On this court, the ball is very light. Her slice skids,” Zvonareva said. “So if you just try to get to the ball and just hit it, you will probably overhit it and your ball will go like three meters out. Here you have to wait a little bit longer, Once you make those little adjustments, you figure out how the ball bounces on the court, how it flies here, then you already know which shot you should pick. “I’m pretty happy with the way I managed the match. I had some unforced errors out there. But at the same time, I had some great points. So I’m happy overall. Just looking forward for the next one.” Zvonareva, a quarterfinalist last year in Dubai, improved her record to 4-1 over Vinci. “It’s never easy to play Roberta, she’s a tricky player. It was a tough match,” said Zvonareva, who is coming off a semifinal loss at the Pattaya Open.

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland also advanced, beating Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 7-5, 6-4, while Shahar Peer of Israel won her second match in two days by defeating Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-4, 6-2.


Safina wins in Montreal as she starts her climb back up the rankings.

Dinara Safina claimed just a third win in her past 11 matches after beating first-round opponent Andrea Petkovic at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Safina, ranked 70 in the world, showed glimpses of her best as she took one hour and 40 minutes to overcome Germany’s Petkovic 6-3 6-3.

Injury and poor form this year has resulted in Safina’s slide down the rankings with the 24-year-old having failed to win twice at a tournament since the Australian Open in January – when she withdrew in the fourth round with a back complaint.

The Russian will face either compatriot and 18th seed Nadia Petrova or Lucie Safarova in the next round.

Israel’s Shahar Peer was the only seed to fall on the opening day of the hard-court tournament after the 14th seed lost 6-3 6-3 against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.

Fellow seeds Yanina Wickmayer (13) and Aravane Rezai (16) both progressed.

Qualifier Iveta Benesova booked a second-round meeting with top seed Jelena Jankovic after the Czech brushed aside Sara Errani 6-3 6-2.

Benesova was joined in the round-of-32 by fellow qualifiers Jarmilla Groth and Vania King while veteran Patty Schnyder, a lucky loser, battled from a set down to beat Virginie Razzano 6-7 (7/4) 7-5 6-3 and set up a meeting with second seed Caroline Wozniacki.

Local hopeful Stephanie Dubois lost to Klara Zakopalova in three sets in the final match of the day while Sybille Bammer, Yaroslava Shvedova and Timea Bacsiznsky also won through.


Ivanovic needs a remedy for her problems as she loses again in the first it coaching?…is it fitness?…is it motivation?…or is she destined to be just a pretty face on the WTA tour?

Ana Ivanovic continued her poor run of results as she crashed out in the opening round of the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego on Tuesday.

The Serbian, who has dropped to 60th in the rankings, was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 by Israeli seventh seed Shahar Peer to dent her preparations for next month’s U.S. Open.

The 22-year-old was given a wild-card entry into the hardcourt tournament in California after losing in the second round at Stanford last week, but was unable to win through after conceding a tight first set.

Ivanovic looked to be returning to form after reaching the semifinals on clay in Rome in May, but has since not made it past the second-round stage of any event — including the French Open, which she won in 2008.

Peer will next play unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, who beat Russia’s Nadia Petrova 5-7 6-4 6-1.

China’s Zheng Jie beat U.S. qualifier Shenay Perry 6-3 6-2, and will next face either sixth seed Marion Bartoli of France or Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova.

American 18-year-old Coco Vandeweghe was handed a place in the second round when Argentine wild-card Gisela Dulko retired while trailing 6-0 3-0.

The qualifier will next take on either Russian third seed Vera Zvonareva or Slovakian wild-card Dominika Cibulkova.

The tournament’s top seed is another former top-ranked Serbian, Jelena Jankovic, who plays Russian Alisa Kleybanova in her opening match following a first-round bye.


A first round loss for Ivanovic at Wimbledon would be like the kiss of death.

Ana Ivanovic has a tough first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon against the 13th seed Shahar Peer. If she loses once again in the first round of a tournament she will probably slide further down the WTA rankings to be outside of the top 60.

What she needs is on-court playing time, and while she continues to lose early she fails to gain any playing time. It is a catch 22 situation for players who have lost confidence and are trying to regain their former position on the tour. The further they slide the more difficult become their opponents and their chances of winning are decreased.

The answer for Ana maybe for a move to the Challenger cicuit. Here she would gain on-court matches, she would be out of the public eye, and she just might capture her 2008 form. If she continues on her present path, playing just one match every two weeks, she has little or no chance of regrouping.


Kuz & Masha lose in the first round in Madrid.!

Svetlana Kuznetsova’s preparations for her French Open title defense took another hit on Day 1 of the Mutua Madrid Madrileña Open as she lost to Shahar Peer in the opening round, her third straight loss on clay.

Lucie Safarova defeated Maria Sharapova  6-4 6-3 in the first match for the Russian since she develpoed a bone bruise in her right forearm.

Kuznetsova, who lost in the second round of Stuttgart to Li Na and in the first round of Rome to Maria Kirilenko, was the No.5 seed in Madrid but lost to the unseeded Peer, 63 26 60. After rebounding in the second set Kuznetsova seemed back on the winning path, but that quickly changed as Peer ground out the third at love, her third win in the pair’s seven career meetings.

“Sveta is a great player, especially on clay. But anyone you play here is going to be tough,” Peer said. “I’ve been playing well since the beginning of the year. Even the matches I’m losing, it’s just a point here and a point there. I’ve been working very hard on my game the last two years and I saw the fruits starting to come last summer. I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

The only other seeds in action both won, as No.6 seed Elena Dementieva rolled past Aleksandra Wozniak, 60 61, and No.12 seed Marion Bartoli rallied to a three set victory against Polona Hercog, 36 64 64.

“I’m very satisfied the way I was playing today. It was hard playing a match on the center court without practicing on it beforehand,” Dementieva said. “We are all looking forward to getting some good matches in to prepare for the French Open. This is only my second tournament on clay this year, but this is the best preparation you can have, at a big tournament like this.”

Vera Zvonareva, Alona Bondarenko, Andrea Petkovic and Sybille Bammer also won first round matches at the $4.5-million tournament.

Iveta Benesova, Petra Kvitova, Stefanie Voegele, Kirsten Flipkens, Alizé Cornet, Klara Zakopalova, Akgul Amanmuradova and Beatriz García Vidagany earned berths in the main draw with wins in qualifying.

The first round continues Sunday with the likes of Venus Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin in action.

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