Pe'er runs into a Sharapova wall

Despite coming up short, Pe'er has shown that she can match the world's best point for point.

By
October 20, 2006 03:56
2 minute read.
Pe'er runs into a Sharapova wall

Shahar peer 298.88. (photo credit: )

Shahar Pe'er was beaten by a top 10 player for a third straight week on Thursday night, losing 6-4, 7-6(4), to world No. 3 Maria Sharapova in the second round of the Zurich Open. Despite coming up short, Pe'er (23) has shown in the last three weeks that she can match the world's best point for point and that it will not be long before she regularly beats top 10 opposition. The Israeli will take home a little over $16,000 and 42 ranking points, which edge her ever closer to the top 20 in the WTA singles rankings. Sharapova got the first break of the first set in the third game, but the Israeli hit back immediately and tied the score at 2-2. After splitting the next four games, Sharapova got her second break of the set and took a 5-4 lead. The Russian seized control of the match and closed out the set in the next game. After Sharapova won the first two games of the second set, Pe'er came back to take a 3-2 lead. Both players held their serves in the next five games of the match, but Sharapova got a crucial break in the 11th game of the set to take a 6-5 lead. Pe'er didn't buckle. She broke back to send the second set into a tiebreaker. Sharapova took an early 3-0 lead in the breaker and held off Pe'er the rest of way. Ram and Erlich lose in Madrid quarters Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich will need to wait at least one more week before booking their plane tickets to China for the season-ending Masters Cup after losing on Thursday to Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor 4-6, 7-6(3), 11-9 in the quarterfinals of the ATP Masters Series tournament in Madrid. The Israelis, who are ranked seventh in the world, were two points away from securing a spot in the season finale, which will feature the world's top eight doubles teams, but Knowles and Nestor, who are fourth in the doubles rankings, were more composed when it mattered and managed to grind out the win. Six doubles teams are already assured of spots at the Masters Cup, and the three duos ranked Nos. 7-9 are fighting for the remaining two spots. Despite losing on Thursday, Ram and Erlich are 99 points ahead of Simon Aspelin and Todd Perry, who are ranked ninth. The Swedish/Australian duo also lost in the Madrid quarterfinals, which means the Israelis maintained their lead with only two weeks remaining until the tournament in China. On Thursday, Ram and Erlich got the first break of the match in the seventh game of the first set to take a 4-3 lead. Knowles and Nestor couldn't break their opponents' serve and the Israelis won the first set. After Knowles and Nestor, winners at Madrid last year, stormed to a 5-0 lead in the second set and seemed to be cruising to victory, Ram and Erlich saved set points and came back to tie the score at 5-5. The set would eventually go into a tiebreaker, which Knowles and Nestor won 7-3. With each side winning a set, the quarterfinal had to be decided on a match tiebreaker. Knowles and Nestor quickly took control of the breaker and led 8-4. Once again, Ram and Erlich fought back, tying the breaker at 9-9. However, Knowles and Nestor won the next two points, leaving the Israelis just short of cementing their place at the Masters Cup.


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