Israeli tennis star Julia Glushko.
(photo credit: NIR KEIDAR/ISRAEL TENNIS ASSOCIATION)
Shahar Pe’er progressed to the second round of the Roland Garros qualifiers on Wednesday, beating Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 6-2, 6-4 in a rain-interrupted match.
Pe’er, ranked No. 119 in the world, needs two more wins to qualify for the main draw and will face Patricia Maria Tig (176) of Romania in the second round on Thursday.
Julia Glushko (116) is set to plummet down the WTA rankings after losing in the first round of the qualifiers to Australian Anastasia Rodionova (166) 0-6, 6-4, 7-5. Glushko reached the third round of the main draw in Paris last year.
Amir Weintraub (608) was knocked out in the first round of the men’s qualifiers on Tuesday, falling 7-6, 6-2 to Illya Marchenko (128).
Dudi Sela will be Israel’s lone representative in the men’s main draw.
Meanwhile, twice former winner Jim Courier believes nine-times French Open champion Rafa Nadal will no longer be regarded as an “immovable obstacle” at Roland Garros this year.
The American, who ruled the claycourt grand slam in 1991 and 1992, has watched the Spaniard’s increasing vulnerability on the red dust with interest in the build-up to the year’s second grand slam which begins in Paris on Sunday.
While Courier believes the bestof- five-set format means Nadal remains formidable, he makes world number one Novak Djokovic favorite followed by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
“For the first time in many years Nadal will not be the favorite going into Roland Garros,” said Courier. “That role is now firmly occupied by Novak Djokovic. Nadal is less vulnerable in Paris, given the best of five-set format which allows him more time to problem solve but there are now guys in the locker room who see him as an opportunity rather than an immovable obstacle.”
Nadal was beaten by Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters, following his defeat by Andy Murray in the Madrid Masters final the week before.
The 28-year-old Spaniard also lost to Djokovic in Monte Carlo and has looked nowhere near the player who has lost only one match at Roland Garros in 10 years of domination.
Reuters contributed to this report.