(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er will be seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam next week at the French Open.
Pe'er, who is ranked 33rd in the world, landed the 32nd and last seed thanks to the injury withdrawal of American Lindsay Davenport (7), which bumped everyone else up a spot in the clay-court event's seeding list.
As a seeded player, Pe'er cannot face a player ranked higher than her in the first two rounds of the competition. The downside is that barring an upset, she will face a top eight player in the third round.
On Tuesday, Pe'er won her opening-round match at the Istanbul Open, her final tune-up before the Roland Garros, 6-2, 6-1 against American Jamea Jackson (81). On Wednesday, the fourth-seeded Pe'er, a quarterfinalist last year in Istanbul, will face Polish teenager Urszula Radwanska (458), a qualifier who defeated Maria Elena Camerin (53) of Italy 6-4, 7-5 in the first round.
In doubles, Pe'er and Slovakian partner Janette Husarova will next take on Urszula Radwanska and sister Agnieszka in the quarterfinals. That match is tentatively set for Thursday.
Israeli No. 2 Anna Smashnova (50) took down British qualifier Anne Keothavong (148), 6-3, 6-1 at the start of the Internationaux de Strasbourg in France.
Smashnova will meet the No. 8 seed, Jelena Jankovic (35) of Serbia, in the second round on Wednesday. Jankovic advanced when Austrian Sybille Bammer (48) retired late in the first set with an injury.
Okun, Levy, Sela win first quallies
Noam Okun, Harel Levy and Dudi Sela all started their qualifying campaigns for the main draw at the French Open on the right foot Tuesday.
Okun (219) defeated American Hugo Armando (193) 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-3 in a two-hour, 24-minute match in which both players committed more unforced winners than hit winners.
Okun is next scheduled to play Frenchman Stephane Robert (231), who upset top-seeded Simon Greul (91) of Germany, on Wednesday in the second of three qualifying rounds.
Levy (234) overcame Mariano Zabaleta (172) of Argentina 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Both players were among the best in the world before injuries set in. The meeting was a re-match of a French Open first-round encounter from 2000, which Zabaleta won 5-7, 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-4. Levy will next meet Columbian Alejandro Falla (138), who is seeded 21st in qualifying.
Sela (163) bested Polish 15th seed Lukasz Kubot (129) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to set up a second-qualifying-round encounter with Julio Silva (212) of Brazil.
Tzipi Obziler (134) will begin her journey to become the third Israeli woman in the main draw when she takes on Poland's Joanna Sakowicz (195) on Wednesday. Obziler, seeded 16th, has never faced Sakowicz before.
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