Analysis: Shahar brimming with confidence

Israeli tennis star takes out Ivanovic to open Wimbledon.

June 23, 2010 06:34
2 minute read.
Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer.

shahar peer backhand 311. (photo credit: AP)

After cruising through her first round match against former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, Shahar Pe’er has every reason to believe she can at least equal her career-best showing at Wimbledon this year.

Pe’er, seeded 13th at the All England Club, showed little mercy on her way to a very comfortable victory over the struggling Serb, currently ranked No. 45, and looks well-placed to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon, equaling her performance on the London grass from two years ago.

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Pe’er faces unseeded Angelique Kerber, who she has never encountered before, in the second round on Wednesday. A victory would book her a meeting against the winner of the clash between Melanie Oudin (35) and Jarmila Groth (92).

If Pe’er is to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time she will likely need to stun five-time champion Venus Williams in the fourth round.

However, as always, the Israeli refuses to even look at the draw and remains focused on maintaining her excellent form in the second round.

“It wasn’t easy to beat Ivanovic,” she told The Jerusalem Post.

“I played against a good player. I think I could have played better. I could have been more aggressive and taken better advantage of my chances. But overall I got the job done.”

Pe’er entered Wimbledon with only one competitive match on grass this year after her first-round exit at Eastbourne last week. However, on Monday she looked as comfortable as she ever has on the green surface and she’s feeling buoyant ahead of her next match.

“I’m feeling more and more comfortable on the grass. I’m moving better and I hope to continue doing this in the rest of the tournament,” she said. “I felt good throughout the match against Ivanovic. I was in control and it was a very positive win.

“I’m always optimistic. I always said that it would take me a little time to get used to the grass. I hope to continue this way.”

What should really give Pe’er confidence ahead of her next match was her serving in the first round. The 23-year-old hit 65 percent of her first serves in and won 27 of 37 points when that was the case.

“It is very important to be serving well because it earns you a lot of free points,” said Pe’er, who won 69 percent of the points on her serve overall.

“It is extremely important that I have begun the tournament serving well.”

Pe’er knows very little of Kerber, who is ranked at a career-best 54th, but is feeling good about her game and her chances against the German.

“I have never played her, but I know she’s a left-hander,” she said. “She’s a very aggressive player so I will have to be aggressive to. I’m in good shape and I’m playing well. I’m hoping everything will be fine.”

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