London Diary: Different scenery, same result

However, there are some things that never change. To name two: the rain and Shahar Pe’er being knocked out in the first round.

July 30, 2012 03:25
1 minute read.
Shahar Pe’er

Shahar Pe’er 150. (photo credit: Mike Blake/Reuters)

Much has changed at Wimbledon following its Olympic facelift.

Most noticeably, the familiar green advertising backgrounds have been replaced by non-commercial purple canvases and much of the proficient staff of the annual Grand Slam event have made way for clueless newcomers.

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However, there are some things that never change.

To name two: the rain and Shahar Pe’er being knocked out in the first round.

I guess that may be a little harsh.

After all, it was world No. 3 Maria Sharapova who thrashed her 6-2, 6-0 on Sunday and in recent times she tends to make it as far as a second round before losing.

However, Pe’er has gone so long since her last winning run that you begin to wonder if she will ever string together two victories again.

Not since the Doha event more than five months ago has Pe’er progressed past a second round, a run of 14 tournaments.

She never had a chance against Sharapova on Centre Court.

Shahar said before the match that she would like nothing more than to beat the snobby Sharapova, who according to the Israeli is one of the least friendly players on tour.

But Pe’er never came close to testing the Russian.

Not only did Shahar enter the encounter 0-6 in her career against the Russian, but Sunday’s match was also played on the Wimbledon grass under the roof, conditions which highlight the Israeli’s weaknesses and accentuate Sharapova’s strengths.

As disappointing as it may be to see your Olympics end after one match, Pe’er will quickly put Sunday’s loss behind her.

She didn’t really expect to beat Sharapova and the sad truth is that she has recently had plenty of practice at overcoming defeats.

And that is the real concern.

“It’s not just this year that I’ve been struggling it was also last year,” Pe’er said after the match with a wry smile.

“I’m continuing to work hard on my game. I can’t ask myself to give any more than my all and that is what I am doing.”

There is no shame in losing to Sharapova, but Pe’er’s current run of futility is quickly becoming a cause for embarrassment.

And worst of all, there seems to be no end in sight.

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