(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er continued her good form in doubles on Wednesday. The highest ranked female Israeli tennis player and Marion Bartoli of France defeated Marta Domachowska of Poland and Tatiana Golovin of France 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the Acura Classic in San Diego.
The win was Pe'er's fifth straight in doubles play after winning last week's tournament in Stanford, California, with German Anna-Lena Groenefeld. After the successful stint with Groenfeld, Pe'er decided to return to her usual partner Bartoli in this week's tournament and, ironically, Domachowska was Bartoli's partner at Stanford.
After Pe'er and Bartoli lost their serve in the first set, they came storming back to win the next two sets convincingly and book their spot in the next round. The Israeli/French pair played their second round match later Thursday against the top-ranked pair of Australian Samantha Stosur and American Lisa Raymond.
Pe'er's doubles success has propelled her to a career best 35 in the doubles rankings but has only slightly compensated for her disappointing singles form, which has seen her lose five of her last seven matches, including the first round in San Diego.
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich were also in action later Thursday, playing American pair Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips in their second round match at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, DC. Ram and Erlich are seeded third in the tournament and hope to repeat their straight-sets victory in the first round.
Report: Billie Jean King to receive naming honor
Billie Jean King's name will be added to the National Tennis Center during an opening-night ceremony at the US Open, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The plan to rename the tennis center in Flushing, New York, was to be announced at a news conference later Thursday at Arthur Ashe Stadium. King, her mother, Betty, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were expected to attend.
"This is a show of faith and respect," King told the Times. "And with it, a sense of responsibility. I don't think I'll ever comprehend this."
The change will take effect August 28, the start of the US Open, the newspaper reported.
The United States Tennis Association previously honored Ashe by naming its stadium after him nine years ago. King is honored to share her name at the center with Ashe, the first black man to win the US Open and Wimbledon. Ashe died in 1993 of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1993, after contracting the disease through a blood transfusion during heart surgery.
"Arthur and I are now side by side, and we're both public-park kids," said the 62-year-old King, who came out as a lesbian in the 1980s. "We were born the same year, and we fought for human rights."
AP contributed to this report.