Pe’er, Glushko on verge of Wimbledon berths

Shahar Pe'er will face world No. 131 Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal in the third round on Thursday.

June 19, 2013 23:42
2 minute read.
Shahar Pe'er

Shahar Pe'er 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Shahar Pe’er closed to within one win of extending her Grand Slam main draw streak on Wednesday, defeating American Maria Sanchez 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the third and final qualifying round at Wimbledon.

The 26-year-old Israeli, who failed to receive direct entry to the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the Australian Open in 2005, will face world No. 131 Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal in the third round on Thursday.

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Pe’er (168), who after seven years officially lost her status as the Israel No. 1 last week, has missed the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament just once over the past 33 majors, sitting out the French Open four years ago through injury.

Julia Glushko (129), who leapfrogged Pe’er in the rankings for the first time last week, is also only a single victory away from the main draw at the All England Club after defeating Yurika Sema (188) of Japan 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.

Glushko faces Maria Elena Camerin (175) on Thursday, looking to qualify for Wimbledon for the first time in her career.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal could face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, defending champion Roger Federer or home favorite Andy Murray as early as the Wimbledon quarterfinals after he was seeded fifth for the grass-court major on Wednesday.

Friday’s draw for the tournament, which begins at the All England Club on Monday, could now produce a nightmare scenario for top three seeds Djokovic, Murray and Federer if any of them ends up being in the same quarter as 2008 and 2010 winner Nadal.

The Wimbledon seeding reflects Nadal’s current ranking, with the Mallorcan behind fourth-ranked Spanish compatriot David Ferrer whom he beat to win an eighth French Open title this month.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that does not automatically follow the men’s rankings when seedings are decided. Instead, officials rely on a threestage formula which also takes into account grasscourt performances of the past two seasons.

As Nadal suffered a shock second-round exit in southwest London 12 months ago, after which his ranking slipped as he spent seven months on the sidelines with a knee injury, Wimbledon’s seeding formula failed to bump him above Ferrer, who reached the quarterfinals last year.

US Open champion Murray had already resigned himself to a possible lasteight clash with Nadal.

“I know there will be a lot of interest in the draw this year as Rafael Nadal looks like being seeded fifth, but as a player you can’t get too obsessed about the draw,” Murray had said in a column for the BBC website on Monday.

”I’d sign up to be in the quarterfinals against Rafa tomorrow if someone offered me that.”

The Wimbledon seedings by and large reflected the current ATP rankings, with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bumped up a place to sixth and Queen’s Club runner-up Marin Cilic profiting from two spots to 10th.

There were no surprises among the women after five-times champion Serena Williams was named top seed ahead of Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova in second and third in accordance with the rankings.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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