For the first time in 15 years, Israel will not have any representatives in the
singles tournaments of a Grand Slam event after both Shahar Pe’er and Julia
Glushko were knocked out in the third and final round of the qualifiers at
Wimbledon on Thursday.
Dudi Sela and Amir Weintraub were sent packing in
the men’s qualifiers earlier in the week, meaning there will not be a single
Israeli in the singles main draws at the All England Club, something which
hasn’t happened at any Grand Slam tournament since the 1998 Australian
Pe’er, who failed to receive direct entry to the main draw of a
Grand Slam for the first time since the Aussie Open in 2005 due to her lowly
ranking of No. 168, was thrashed 6-3, 6-0 by Michelle Larcher De Brito (131) of
Portugal on Thursday.
She will miss her first major since the 2009 French
Open, which she sat out due to injury, and just her second Grand Slam main draw
in the past 34 played since making her debut at Roland Garros eight years
Thursday’s defeat marked yet another new low for Pe’er, who after
seven years officially lost her status as the Israel No. 1 last
Pe’er, who had been Israel’s top ranked women’s player since
overtaking Anna Smashnova in 2006, peaking at No. 11 in January 2011, was
leapfrogged by Glushko (129), who didn’t fare much better than her countrywoman
on Thursday, losing 6- 3, 6-1 to Maria Elena Camerin (175).
reached a career-best ranking after coming through three rounds of qualifiers to
progress to the main draw at Roland Garros, but will likely have to wait at
least one more year to make her Wimbledon debut.
Glushko still has an
outside chance to receive a main draw berth at the All England Club as a lucky
loser should higher ranked players pull out before the start of the tournament
Meanwhile, two former Grand Slam champions have already
retired from the women’s event, with Svetlana Kuznetsova and American Venus
Williams both pulling out.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova will
miss the tournament with an abdominal strain, resulting in Czech Klara
Zakopalova being installed as 32nd seed with the original seeds between 32 and
27 being moved up one place.
Kuznetsova, who was seeded 26th for the
grass-court major, was the only player to take a set off eventual champion
Serena Williams at this month’s French Open.
The 27-year-old, who has
never been past the quarterfinals in 10 previous visits to Wimbledon, was a
first-round loser a year ago.
Williams, a five-times singles champion at
Wimbledon, will miss out due to a back injury.
The 33-year-old has not
played since pulling out of the doubles at this year’s French Open.
will not be able to participate in Wimbledon,” Williams wrote on her Facebook
page. “I am extremely disappointed as I have always loved The
Williams won her last Wimbledon title in
2008.Reuters contributed to this report
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