Shahar Pe’er will face world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the
Rome Masters after her first-round opponent Shuai Peng retired during the third
set of their match on Monday.
The 25-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 54, was
leading 7-6 (4), 4-6, 3-1 when Peng (23) was forced to retire due to
Pe’er will now be aiming to finally progress past the second
round of a tournament, something she has failed to accomplish in her past seven
However, to do so she will require the biggest win of her
career considering she next plays Azarenka, who has already won four titles this
season and was only denied a fifth by Serena Williams in the final of the Madrid
Open on Sunday.
The Belarusian has beaten Pe’er in all three of their
Only two places separated Pe’er (12) and Azarenka (10)
in the rankings when they last met in January 2011, a testament to the opposite
directions their careers have taken over the last 16 months.
former women’s No. 1 Serena Williams labeled Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and
others as “weenies” after they complained about the blue clay at the Madrid
Asked about criticism from Djokovic and Nadal over the slippery
surface on the Manolo Santana show court, Williams told a news conference that
women were simply tougher than their male counterparts.
“Women are way
tougher than men. That’s why we have the babies, you guys could never handle
kids,” Williams said after thumping top seed Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 to win the Madrid
title on Sunday.
“We ladies don’t complain we just do our best. On the
WTA we are real performers, we are not about going out there and being
Dictionary.com lists several definitions of “weenie” including
“an insignificant, disliked person” or “a stupid and inept
Djokovic and Nadal have threatened to boycott the Madrid event
next year unless the traditional red dirt is reinstated.Reuters
contributed to this report
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