311_Shahar Peer closeup.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Three weeks after losing to Venus Williams in the fourth round of the US Open, Shahar Pe’er made a winning return to the WTA Tour on Monday, coming back from a set down to defeat Timea Bacsinszky 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
Pe’er, who dropped two places to No. 19 in the world earlier Monday, had her firs-tround match postponed for several hours because of the rain in the Japanese capital, and showed some rust from her three-week hiatus at the start of the encounter.
However, the 23-year-old Israeli eventually got the better of Bacsinszky
(48) and will play Kaia Kanepi (25) in the second round.
In other action, Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm claimed a
shock-victory earlier in the day, rallying to beat defending champion
Maria Sharapova 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Date Krumm, who will celebrate her 40th birthday on Tuesday, broke the
23-yearold Russian to go up 5-3 in the third set and won the final game
when Sharapova’s backhand went wide.
“To play against a former world No. 1 and defending champion, I knew I
had to play to the best of my ability,” said Date Krumm, who returned to
competitive tennis in 2008 after a 12-year layoff.
Sharapova, who is the tournament’s 12th seeded player, had 11 double
faults in the match that lasted two hours and nine minutes at Ariake
Sharapova broke Date to go up 3-2 in the final set and was leading
40-love in the sixth game when she double faulted twice before being
broken by Date Krumm.
“Momentum is so big in tennis,” Sharapova said. “If you give your
opponent a chance they can get confident and take the momentum away.”
It was the first meeting between the two players.
Sharapova said she was impressed with Date Krumm’s ability and fitness
after such a long layoff.
“It’s incredible,” Sharapova said. "It just shows you how she has stayed
in such great shape while away from the game. She is incredibly fit.”
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