Familiar foe means familiar fate for Pe’er

With Shahar once again at Serena’s mercy, defeat is only a matter of time.

June 1, 2010 12:29
2 minute read.
Shahar Peer doing the splits

Shahar Peer doing the splits 311. (photo credit: AP)

Shahar Pe’er’s match against Serena Williams was depressingly comparable to a horror movie.

You knew the murder was coming, you just didn’t know when.

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The inevitability of Pe’er’s defeat to Williams was what made it so disappointing to watch.

It wasn’t that Shahar didn’t give her best against Serena; far from it. The Israeli chased every ball, and despite never really finding her range, tried everything in the hope of getting the better of the American.

But it was all to no avail.

Even while playing some of the best tennis of her career, Pe’er simply does not have the weapons to defeat the world number 1.

After an edgy start, Williams quickly found her rhythm and cruised to the victory, with all of Pe’er attempts to slow down the American steamroller proving utterly fruitless.

“I felt really consistent today,” Williams said. “I felt like I was hitting the right shots and the balls were going right. It’s always good to feel that way.”

Against an on-form Serena, Pe’er knew she had little chance.

“Of course I would have liked to have gone further than the fourth round, but this is how it goes in tennis and I will have to learn from it,” she told The Jerusalem Post.

Despite the heartache, it is important to see the full picture, which is extremely positive.

Probably 99 percent of the players in the world, including most of the ones ranked in the top-10, are no different to Pe’er and also find themselves all but helpless when facing Williams.

When Serena is focused and on-song, there are very few players, if any at all, who are capable of stopping her.

Even more significant is the fact that Pe’er was playing in the last 16 of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in nearly two years, proving beyond doubt that she is back to her best. Thanks to her recent form and her achievement in Paris, Pe’er has guaranteed herself to at least equal her career best ranking of 15 and the future is looking very bright once more.

Nevertheless, Pe’er will never be pleased until she takes that extra step and beats the very best. The Israeli’s unquenchable thirst for success and indelible drive for improvement are what makes her such a great athlete and no loss to Williams, painful as it may be, will change that.

“I think I need to continue this way and carry on improving and I will be able to win these matches,” said Pe’er.

Pe’er has no doubt that the day she finally beats the cream of the crop will arrive sooner rather than later.

For the moment, all we ask for is that the next time she faces a Williams sister we will no longer have to look away in horror.

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