Shahar Pe’er was knocked out in the first round for the fourth time in five
tournaments this year on Monday, hours after plummeting 23 places to No. 114 in
the world rankings.
Pe’er, who slid out of the top-100 for the first time
since 2005, was thrashed 6-2, 6-2 by Kirsten Flipkens (34) in the opening round
of the Memphis International and remained with just a single win to her name
almost three months into 2013.
The 25-year-old Israeli was broken five
times in the 66- minute encounter and lost in straight sets for the fifth time
in the six matches she has played this year.
In fact, Pe’er has only won
two sets all year long, claiming both in the victory over Alexandra Panova in
the first round of the Australian Open.
Following Pe’er’s fall, Israel
hasn’t got a men’s or women’s player in the world’s top-100 for the first time
Israel’s top men’s player, Dudi Sela, climbed three places to
No. 103 in the world on Monday.
In May 1998, Anna Smashnova entered the
top-100, with five Israeli players, two female (Tzipi Obziler and Pe’er) and
three male (Sela, Harel Levy and Noam Okun), also doing so since.