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
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
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
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
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
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
Reuters contributed to this report.
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