Pe'er reflects on season

October 19, 2007 04:52
3 minute read.


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Shahar Pe'er returned to Israel on Thursday evening after playing her last match of the year on Tuesday in Zurich. The Israeli, who is ranked No. 16 in the world, ended the year on a sour note, losing in the first round in Switzerland 6-4, 6-3 to Agnieszka Radwanska. "The end of the season wasn't very fun," Pe'er said on Thursday. "However, if you look at the year as a whole it went pretty well. I positioned myself among the top players in the world and did well in some of the big tournaments. So all in all I had a good season." Pe'er reached the quarterfinals of two Grand Slams this year, at the Australian and US Open, an achievement no Israeli has achieved in an entire career. The 20-year-old did, however, struggle in certain stages of the year, especially in recent months. Besides her success in Flushing Meadows, Pe'er only won a total of eight matches in her last eight tournaments of the season. "I had a dip in form towards the end of the season," she admitted. "I still have a lot to work on to reach the world's top 10. I'm going to take the next three weeks off before leaving for a training camp. "I plan to stay at home and clean my head after a long season." Federer wins in Madrid Roger Federer quickly forgot about his recent history with Guillermo Canas, beating the 14th-ranked Argentine 6-0, 6-3 Thursday in the third round of the Madrid Masters. "I played aggressively, took my chances and felt in control," Federer said. "It was nice to beat him, that's for sure." The top-ranked Swiss came out quickly from the baseline, breaking Canas to love in the second game. Two more breaks of serve gave Federer the first set in 21 minutes. Canas, who beat Federer in back-to-back tournaments in March, held serve to make it 1-1 in the second set. But Federer, the defending champion, abandoned the ground strokes and came to the net, scoring 14 of his overall 17 winners from there in the second set. Federer, who won 32 of his 41 service points, broke Canas again in the sixth game before holding his serve for the rest of the way. "I was especially disappointed with the Miami loss, so to beat him later in the year after two tough losses is nice," said Federer, who will play either Spanish wild card Feliciano Lopez or Austrian qualifier Stefan Koubek in the quarterfinals. Canas didn't see revenge as the main factor in his defeat. Just Federer's ability. "He played an excellent match, he didn't make any errors. He was superior to me the entire match," said Canas, who won just nine return points compared to the 31 he got against Federer in his last win. Madrid's position at 600 meters (1,969 feet) above sea level has also given Federer an extra advantage since the ball is moving quicker across the indoor surface that he prefers over all others. "Maybe [it's] a little quicker than usual," Federer said. "I think the surface was much slower in Indian Wells and Miami. And I didn't know his game so well then." Third-ranked Novak Djokovic beat Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to also advance. "I haven't played so far on the level that I can, but the most important thing is that I won," Djokovic said. Djokovic had the decisive break in the eighth game before clinching the first set with one of his five aces in the next game. Ferrero - whose last title was the 2003 Madrid Masters, a stretch of 88 tournaments - saved five break points. He then broke Djokovic in the second game before clinching the second set with a passing shot for another break in the eighth game. "It's been a long year and I've played a lot of matches. And maybe in some stages, physically and mentally, I don't look so effective," said Djokovic, who will next play Mario Ancic after he beat Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-4, 6-3. Djokovic, who was pushed to three sets against Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday, broke Ferrero to lead 2-0 in the third set and maintained that advantage to close it out. Second-ranked Rafael Nadal looked like having a tough match later Thursday against the 17th-ranked Andy Murray of Britain, who has rolled over his first two opponents. Earlier, fifth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile broke three times to beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-4, 6-2. The 2006 finali

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