Pe’er showing no signs of slowing down in Madrid

Israel to host Austria in Davis Cup.

May 12, 2010 09:51
1 minute read.
Shahar Peer

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

Shahar Pe’er is showing no signs of slowing down, beating Alisa Kleybanova 7-6 (4), 6-0 for her latest victory on Tuesday to advance to the third round of the Madrid Masters.

The 23-year-old Israeli, who beat world No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round for her fifth win of the year over a top-10 player, trailed 5-2 in the first set against Kleybanova (28) before claiming three straight games and 10 of the next 11 to clinch her place in the third round.

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Pe’er, ranked No. 22 in the world, will next face the winner of the match between wildcards Shaui Peng (50) and Arantxa Parra Santonja (65).

Meanwhile, Israel’s Davis Cup team was handed a relatively comfortable draw in the World Group playoffs on Tuesday.

Israel will host Austria on the weekend of September 17-19, looking to maintain its place among the top 16 nations in the World Group for a third straight year.

“I’m very happy we are playing at home again,” said Israel’s top player Dudi Sela. “Kazakhstan or Columbia at home could have been easier, but I would have certainly been happy with a home tie against Austria before the draw.”

Austria triumphed 3-2 over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I second round to reach the playoffs and is hoping for a quick return to the World Group, having spent six years in the competition’s top tier between 2004 and 2009.

Like Israel, Austria only has one player in the top-100, 30th ranked Jurgen Melzer. Austria’s next best-ranked players are Daniel Koellerer (107) and Stefan Koubek (117), but the team has plenty of depth in the doubles department, with Oliver Marach (12), Jurgen Melzer (23) and Julian Knowle (26) all possible opponents for Israel’s top pair of Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich.

“I’m very pleased with the home draw, but this will be a tough tie because Austria has some excellent players,” said Erlich.

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