Pow­er­less Peer put in check

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BY SI­MON GRIVER

Sha­har Peer suf­fered a re­mark­able loss of form as Is­rael’s women lost 3-2 against the Czech Repub­lic at Ra­mat Hasharon.

Is­rael’s num­ber one lost both her sin­gles matches and de­spite a heroic ef­fort from 35-year-old Tzipi Obziler, who won both her matches, they were rel­e­gated from the World Group to Tier II, com­pris­ing the na­tions ranked 9-16.

Is­rael be­gan as firm favourites af­ter Czech ace Ni­cole Vaidis­ova (16) pulled out of the tie. But de­spite vo­cal en­cour­age­ment from the 3,000-strong crowd, Peer de­fied the form book by los­ing to Pe­tra Kvi­tova (95). Vet­eran Obziler (94) sur­prised Lu­cie Sa­farova (39) in three sets. The pat­tern re­peated it­self the fol­low­ing day with Peer los­ing to Iveta Be­nesova be­fore Obziler lev­elled the tie at 2-2 with a straight sets vic­tory over Kvi­tova.

Dou­bles spe­cial­ists Be­nesova and Kveta Peschke, ranked five in the world, were al­ways go­ing to be too strong for Peer and Obziler and so it proved as they swept aside the Is­raeli duo 6-3, 6-4. The re­sult rep­re­sented a per­sonal dis­as­ter for Peer (18), who turned 21 yes­ter­day.

Since hir­ing for­mer Span­ish player Con­chita Martinez, she has failed to climb in the world rank­ings. Peer burst into tears af­ter each de­feat and was surly to­wards jour­nal­ists at the post match press con­fer­ence. “I of­ten cry af­ter de­feats,” she said. “I hate to lose.”

Peer walked out of the press con­fer­ence, say­ing: “I don’t have to sit here and un­dergo an in­ter­ro­ga­tion. What­ever I say you’ll write neg­a­tive things.”

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