Shahar Pe’er advanced to her first WTA Tour quarterfinal in eight months with her first victory over a top-50 player in almost two years on Wednesday, beating Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-1 in the second round of the Katowice Open in Poland.
The 26-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 90 in the world, lost to Pironkova (41) earlier this year, but steamrolled the Bulgarian in just 74 minutes on Wednesday, breaking her opponent’s serve seven times while winning 17-of-20 points on her rival’s second serve.
Pe'er last reached a quarterfinal in Suzhou
, China in August of last year, before going on to win the tournament. Her last victory over a top-50 player was back in May 2012 when she overcame Shuai Peng in Rome.
Pe’er hadn’t beaten a top-100 player or progressed past the first round of a WTA Tour event in 2014 until this week, losing in the opening round in six of eight tournaments, while winning two matches in the qualifiers in both Sydney and Miami but failing to make inroads in the main draw.
However, she overcame Petra Martic (97) in straight sets in the first round in Katowice before outplaying Pironkova on Wednesday.
Pe’er will next face the winner of the match between No. 2 seed Roberta Vinci (16) and fellow Italian Camila Giorgi (69).