Shahar Pe’er’s hopes of reaching a second round of a tournament for the first time this year were dashed once again on Wednesday with a 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 defeat to Olga Govortsova of Belarus in the first round of the prestigious Sony Open in Miami.
Pe’er, ranked No. 88 in the world, claimed two convincing wins in the qualifiers to reach the main draw and looked to be on her way to the second round of a WTA Tour event for just the second time since last August after racing to a one set lead against Govortsova (98).
However, the Israeli inexplicably lost her way at the start of the second set, winning just nine points in the entire set, before dropping six of the final seven games of the match.
Pe’er at least received good news off the court earlier this week after she was named on Tuesday among 14 women who will light the Independence Day torches at the official state ceremony on May 5.
“This was the fourth time in my life that I have cried with joy,” Pe’er wrote on her Facebook page. “The first time was when I won my first match in Dubai. The second was when my brother got married and the third was when my sister got married. It is difficult to put into words how I feel. I was shaking when I received the news in Miami. This is certainly the greatest moment of my life and my career.”
Dudi Sela was also scheduled to take part in the men’s event in Miami this week, but pulled out of the tournament to be in Israel for the birth of his first child, a son, on Sunday.
In other tennis news, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has split with coach Ivan Lendl after two years, the British world No. 6 announced on Wednesday.