Pe’er rolls on in Cincy

The 24-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 24, is picking up confidence in Cincinnati ahead of the start of the US Open on August 29.

August 19, 2011 06:46
1 minute read.
Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe'er.

shahar peer_311 reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Shahar Pe’er made the most of a lucky break on Wednesday night, advancing to the last 16 of the Cincinnati Open with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Pauline Parmentier of France after her original opponent for the second round, world No. 4, Victoria Azarenka, pulled out due to a right hand strain.

The 24-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 24, had lost in the first round in five of her previous six tournaments and is picking up much needed confidence in Cincinnati ahead of the start of the US Open on August 29.

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Break point conversion was the decisive factor in Wednesday’s match, with Pe’er saving nine of Parmentier’s 10 attempts, while breaking the Frenchwoman five times.

Pe’er, who only found out she would be playing Parmentier (ranked 59th) rather than Azarenka 40 minutes before the start of the match, will next face China’s Shuai Peng (15), who beat Italy’s Sara Errani 6-2, 6-4 in the second round.

Meanwhile, in the men’s event in Cincinnati, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suffered a surprise defeat to qualifier Alex Bogomolov while Spain’s Rafa Nadal and world number one Novak Djokovic passed their second- round tests.

France’s Tsonga, a semifinalist at Wimbledon, fell to the 28-year-old Floridabased, Moscow-born Bogomolov 6-3, 6-4.

Djokovic moved his season record to 54-1 with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ryan Harrison.

Both Andy Murray and Nadal suffered early exits at the Montreal Masters last week but there was little hint either would fall to the same fate on Wednesday.

Murray, the fourth seed, overcame a sluggish start to record a 6-4, 6-1 win over Argentine David Nalbandian, setting up a third-round match against Bogomolov.

World No. 2 Nadal also put last week’s setback aside, beating French qualifier Julien Benneteau 6-4, 7-5 in just over 90 minutes.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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