Heroic Peer is out in quar­ters

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON GRIVER

SHA­HAR PEER’S dream of reach­ing her first grand slam semi-fi­nal ended in heroic de­feat at the hands of for­mer world num­ber one Ser­ena Wil­liams at the Aus­tralian Open in Melbourne.

The 19-year-old — the first Is­raeli wo­man to reach the last eight at one of the ma­jors — took the first set against the 2001 and 2003 win­ner and served for the match in the de­cider be­fore suc­cumb­ing 3-6, 6-2, 8-6.

The Kiryat Sh­mona res­i­dent, who was seeded 16th for the com­pe­ti­tion, re­mained up­beat af­ter her tiger­ish per­for­mance.

“I’m eat­ing my heart out at the missed op­por­tu­nity [when serv­ing for the match],” she re­flected. “I did not per­form as I should in that par­tic­u­lar game, but Ser­ena is a cham­pion and knows how to han­dle pres­sure sit­u­a­tions.

“She came up with big serves when it mat­tered and I could do very lit­tle apart from ap­plaud her. I did not cry af­ter the match like I have done af­ter some of my de­feats and will keep work­ing hard to earn a place in the world’s top 10.”

A tri­umphant Wil­liams was gen­er­ous in her praise for the tal­ented Is­raeli, pre­dict­ing that “she will def­i­nitely make the top 10 very soon.”

Benny Pasik, a sports correspondent for Is­raeli ra­dio, also fore­cast a bright fu­ture for the teenager.

“Peer’s progress in the past few years and her per­for­mances in 2007 show she is well on the way to be­com­ing Is­rael’s great­est sports star.”

She will now rise to at least 15 in the world, equalling the high­est rank­ing for an Is­raeli achieved by Anna Smash­nova.

Sev­enth-seeded dou­bles pair Andy Ram and Jonathan Er­lich crashed out 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 in round three to Ma­hesh Bhu­pathi and Radek Stepanek.

Ram, to­gether with Rus­sian part­ner Vera Zvonereva, failed to find the form which led them to the mixed dou­bles ti­tle at Wim­ble­don last sum­mer, bow­ing out at the first hur­dle with a straight sets de­feat to the Aus­tralian pair of Chris Guc­cione and Casey Del­lac­qua.

Sha­har Peer makes a re­turn in her quar­ter-fi­nal thriller against Ser­ena Wil­liams at the Aus­tralian Open in Melbourne

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.