Shahar Pe’er was knocked out in the first round for the fifth time in six tournaments this year on Wednesday, losing 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Canada’s Sharon Fichman in the prestigious Indian Wells event in California.
Pe’er, ranked No. 82 in the world, got the match off to a positive start, but converted just 4-of-12 break points and was ultimately sent packing by Fichman (97), whose parents emigrated from Israel to Canada a year before she was born in 1989.
After having her 2013 season cut short in September when she was diagnosed with a partial tear of her foot’s plantar fascia, Pe’er finally displayed some promising form while playing for Israel in the Fed Cup last month.
However, the loss to Fichman marked the fifth time this year that the Israeli has failed to even make it through the opening round of a tournament, with the only time she has managed to register a winning streak this season coming in the Sydney Open qualifiers when she prevailed in two matches before falling in the final round of qualifying.
Dudi Sela (61), on the other hand, will be aiming to continue his encouraging start to 2014 when he faces Feliciano Lopez (37) in the first round of the men’s singles in Indian Wells over the weekend.
Sela has won at least one match in four of his five tournaments so far this year, reaching two ATP Tour quarterfinals after failing to make it through to the last eight even once during 2013.
Sela climbed 12 places to No. 61 earlier this week to equal his highest position in the world rankings since June 2010.
Should Sela stun Lopez he will meet world No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round in Indian Wells.
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