Pe'er reaches first WTA tour final

Pe'er will face Croatian Jelena Kostanic in the final of the Pattaya Women's Open in Thailand on Sunday.

By FRANKIE SACHS, AP
February 12, 2006 07:04
1 minute read.
Pe'er reaches first WTA tour final

shahar peer 88. (photo credit: )

Shahar Pe'er will seek her first WTA Tour title on Sunday when she faces Croatian Jelena Kostanic in the final of the Pattaya Women's Open in Thailand. The Israeli teenager has been in fine form as she has yet to drop a set in any of her four singles matches. Luck has also been on her side. The fourth seed hasn't needed to play another seeded player all week. That trend continued on Saturday when the 69th ranked Kostanic upset fifthseeded Nuria Llagostera Vives (47) of Spain 6-3, 6-3 in the second semifinal. Pe'er took center court earlier in the day and overcame an early 1-3 deficit to bounce Austrian Sybille Bammer 7-5, 6-3 in a match that lasted one hour 34 minutes. Pe'er (45) began her match by breaking the left-handed Bammer (65) but then lost three straight games in a flurry of errors. Recovering her composure as Bammer lost hers, the young Israeli dominated the next four games to lead 5-3. She served for the set at 5-4, but two double faults and one forehand error cost her that game as her Austrian rival broke for 5-all. Bammer lost on her serves to give Pe'er a 6-5 lead. Peer, after missing two set points, capitalized on the third after Bammer returned her serve off court to lose the set. In the second set, Pe'er proved more consistent from the baseline as she broke Bammer twice - in the fifth and seventh games - to stride to a commanding 5-2 lead. She had one match point in the next game, but Bammer held her ground, and a double fault from Pe'er gave the Austrian a chance to stay in the match. But the opportunity went unrealized when she lost the set on a double fault. "This is big for me," Pe'er told reporters afterward. "It will be a lie if I say I'm not excited about being in my first final." Pe'er, who will crack the top 40 for the first time in the WTA rankings when they are updated on Monday, has never before faced Kostanic.


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