After more than a month off, Pe’er bounces back in Stanford

Ranked number 16 in world, Pe'er was blanketed by Hantuchova, but fought back.

By
July 29, 2010 03:50
1 minute read.
tennis player shahar peer

shahar peer 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

 
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Shahar Pe’er got the post-Pablo Giacopelli era off to a winning start on Tuesday night, but not before surviving an early scare.

Pe’er, ranked number 16 in the world, was blanked by Daniela Hantuchova (25) in the first set of her first round match at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, but fought back in typical style and advanced to the last 16 with a 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

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“I started pretty slow, but this was my first match after Wimbledon, so that is to be expected because it has been a while for me,” said Pe’er, who hadn’t played since her second round exit at the All England club over a month ago.

“Daniela is a good player, so it was going to be tough for me, but I’m happy I was able to pick up my game in the second set. I was concentrating more on making less errors and not waiting for the ball as much. I tried to be more aggressive.”

Pe’er, who is being coached by 51-year-old American Eliot Teltscher on a two-week trial basis after Giacopelli’s surprising departure, will face Russian Maria Kirilenko (27) in the second round on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova made a triumphant return to hardcourts, beating China’s Jie Zheng 6-4, 7-5, in the first round in Stanford on Tuesday.

Sharapova will meet Olga Govortsova of Belarus in Thursday’s second round.

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“I’m just trying to work myself toward the US Open,” Sharapova said. “I’m just happy to be back playing.”

Defending champion Marion Bartoli was another of the five seeds to advance, beating American Ashley Harkleroad 6-1, 6-4.

Bartoli, who faces wild card and former world’s No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the second round, won 81 percent of her first serve points to overwhelm the American, who played only her second match on the WTA Tour in two years.

In the final match of the night, American teenager Melanie Oudin recovered from a 5-1 deficit in the second set to beat Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-3 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 29 minutes.

AP contributed to this report.

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