peer hits 298.88 ap.
(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er continued her recent good form on Monday afternoon, defeating world number 19 Marion Bartoli 6-3, 7-6(4) in the first round of the $600,000 Generali Linz tournament in Austria.
The Israeli, who climbed one spot to 22 in the new WTA rankings released on Monday, is playing her last tournament of the year in Linz and will be hoping for a good showing that will propel her into the world's top 20.
Pe'er hasn't lost to an opponent outside the top 10 since August and was superior throughout the match against her good friend and doubles partner Bartoli.
After splitting the first four games, Pe'er took four of the next five games, including two on her opponents serve and wrapped up the set 6-3.
The Israeli surged forward at the beginning of the second set and took a quick 3-0 lead. However, Bartoli fought back and won three games on the trot to tie the score at 3-3.
Both players held their serves for the remainder of the set and it had to be decided on tiebreaker.
Bartoli took an early 3-0 lead in the tiebreak, however Pe'er won the next six points and closed out the match with her second set point.
The Israeli's opponent in the second round will be defending champion Nadia Petrova (5).
Smashnova to work with ITA
Anna Smashnova announced on Monday that she will be joining the Israeli Federation Cup coaching staff and that she will work as an adviser for the Israeli Tennis Association.
The 30-year-old doesn't plan on retiring yet and intends to combine her playing career with her new role.
"This is my time to give back to Israel, to Israeli tennis and to Israeli coaches for all the help they gave me during my career," Smashnova (63) said on Monday.
"I will continue to play tennis but in a limited format. I will play where I enjoy playing. I don't know if next season will be my last. I will take one step at a time and continue playing as long as I enjoy tennis."
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