Pe’er brings superb comeback to set up Rome clash with Venus

Shahar Pe’er to advance to the third round of the Italian Open in Rome.

May 5, 2010 06:12
1 minute read.
Shahar Peer

Shahar Peer tennis Italian open 311. (photo credit: BSL)

Shahar Pe’er added another remarkable comeback to her ever-growing resume on Tuesday, coming back from a set and 5-1 down to defeat Polona Hercog 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the third round of the Italian Open in Rome.

The 23-year-old Israeli, ranked number 21 in the world, saved a match point in the seventh game of the second set and went on to claim six straight games to send the encounter into a decisive set.

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Pe’er continued to roll in the third set, breaking in the fourth game and holding on to her lead to clinch the victory after two hours and 21 minutes, improving to 11-0 this year against players ranked outside the top 50.

Waiting for Pe’er in the third round is world No. 4 Venus Williams, who won her first match in a month by defeating Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-2.

Williams has beaten Pe’er in all three of their previous meetings, including in the semifinals in Dubai earlier this year.

The American had been sidelined with a knee problem since losing the Key Biscayne final, but was in control against Schnyder, breaking the Swiss veteran six times.

Also Tuesday, defending champion Dinara Safina lost her opener in Rome.

Safina, playing in her second tournament since the Australian Open because of back problems, lost to Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 at the Foro Italico.

No. 1 Serena Williams had few problems reaching the third round on Tuesday, beating Timea Bacsinszky 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Meanwhile, Dudi Sela advanced to the second round of the Israel Open in Ramat Hasharon on Tuesday.

The No. 1 seed beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 (4) and will next play Australia’s Nick Lindahl.

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