Shahar Pe'er stretched world No. 1 Maria Sharapova to three sets in a two-plus hour match in the second round of the China Open in Beijing on Thursday, but could only walk away with pride from her performance.
Pe'er struggled early before picking up her game in the second set in the 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 match.
"I focused in the third set and won it," Sharapova said of her first meeting with the Israeli.
It was also Pe'er's first-ever match against a reigning No. 1.
A confident Pe'er told Army Radio: "It was OK. A long game. In the first set I was completely out of it, but I kept fighting and played good tennis.
"I learned from this [match] and I'm happy that I've reached the point that I'm at today. I've come along way and can get to the highest levels. It's all a matter of tie and hard work."
AP contributed to this report.
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