Shahar Pe’er’s first match of the new season didn’t bode well for the upcoming
year, with the Israeli being thrashed 6-1, 6-3 in just 64 minutes by world No.
131 Elina Svitolina in the first round of the Shenzhen Open in China on
Pe’er (74) was playing her first WTA Tour match since the end of
August after electing to sit out the final two months of last season due to a
left leg injury. She was accurate on just 45 percent of her first serves, being
broken six times by the 18-year-old Ukrainian, who earned her first career WTA
main draw win.
Pe’er will hope to kick-start her season in Hobart next
week ahead of the Australian Open, which gets underway on January
Elsewhere, defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic suffered
a bizarre injury scare after a faultless straight-sets victory over Italian
Andreas Seppi at the Hopman Cup on Monday.
The world No.1 was signing
autographs after the match when he hurt his leg as local fans pushed towards
Leaving his racquets and bag on the court, Djokovic limped straight
up the tunnel to receive a medical assessment in the locker room.
Serbian was unable to complete a television interview he had agreed to after his
6-3, 6-4 victory over Seppi.
His on-court performance had been less
stressful as he defeated a plucky opponent who pushed him to the limit in a
five-set thriller at the French Open this year.
Djokovic only arrived in
Perth from Abu Dhabi late on Sunday night and admitted he was troubled by jet
“I felt this morning that I was dreamwalking,” he said. “I broke the
ice after the first set and started to feel better.”
Djokovic and Ana
Ivanovic held an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie against the Italian pairing of
Seppi and Francesca Schiavone.
Ivanovic began the day by beating
Schiavone 6-0, 6-4.
Djokovic is taking part in the roundrobin team event
to be guaranteed at least three matches in his build-up to the Australian
Reuters contributed to this report.