AN EXHAUSTED Shahar Pe’er 390.
(photo credit: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
Israel’s dream of returning to the elite of world tennis ended in a woeful manner in Eilat on Friday.
The national Fed Cup side needed a 3-0 win over Great Britain to advance to a tie for a place in the World Group II playoffs, but Shahar Pe’er and Julia Glushko were completely helpless in a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the Brits.
After both played a singles and doubles match in each of the previous two days, Pe’er and Glushko were running on empty even before Friday’s tie began and it quickly showed.
Glushko (World No. 211) was crushed 6-2, 6-1 by Anne Keothavong (88) before Elena Baltacha (57) beat an ailing Pe’er (37) 6-4, 6-3.
Pe’er was rested for the meaningless doubles encounter, with Glushko and Keren Shlomo falling 6- 2, 6-1 to Heather Watson (106) and Laura Robson (118).
“I’m pretty drained,” said Pe’er, who played through an ankle injury. “I played five matches over three days without almost any rest. I gave my all, but it wasn’t enough.”
The defeat meant Israel ended Pool C in third position and it now faces at least another year in Europe/Africa Zone Group I, which it can have no complaints about considering its performance in Eilat.
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“The players gave their all and they deserve credit for that,” captain Lior Mor said. “I think we did the best we could and Group I must be our rightful place. We will try and get better by next year.”
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