(photo credit: REUTERS)
Shahar Pe’er’s decision to play on the ITF Circuit in order to pick up some much needed confidence and ranking points has paid off after she claimed her first title since 2013 on Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey.
Pe’er, ranked No. 124 in the world, came back from behind to beat Kristyna Pliskova (129) of the Czech Republic 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 in the final of the $50,000 event.
The 27-year-old Israeli recorded her only break of the match with her first break point in the crucial 11th game of the third set and wrapped up the victory with her fourth match point.
She overcame 12 aces from Pliskova to just one of her own to go along with four double faults to Pliskova’s one.
Pe’er had failed to reach the second round of a main draw in her first nine tournaments of the year, but reeled off five consecutive wins in Istanbul to clinch her first title since lifting the trophy in the WTA event in Suzhou, China, in August 2013. Pe’er’s last ITF title came back in 2004 in Ra’anana at the start of her career.
Pe’er will now turn her attention to the European clay-court season ahead of Roland Garros in which she will have to play qualifiers to reach the main draw.