Pe’er storms into top 20, says rankings don’t interest her

“I’m focused on working hard, playing my best tennis and winning."

May 18, 2010 05:51
1 minute read.
SHAHAR PE’ER stretches for the ball during her sem

Shahar Peer stretches for the ball . (photo credit: Associated Press)

Shahar Pe’er has insisted she won’t be swayed by the pressure that comes with her return to the world’s top 20.
Pe’er, who climbed three places to number 19 on Monday, told The Jerusalem Post she is pleased with her rise up the rankings but is far more concerned with her play.

“I don’t look at the rankings,” she said. “I’m focused on working hard, playing my best tennis and winning. My ranking will take care of itself.”

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Pe’er also crossed the $3 million mark in career earnings last week after reaching the semifinals of the prestigious Madrid Masters.

Israel’s number one has now amassed $3,061,436 throughout her career, including $514,483 just this year.

The 23-year-old will train in Paris with coach Pablo Giacopelli in the coming days ahead of the start of the French Open next Sunday.

Dudi Sela, who will also be playing at Roland Garros next week, dropped one place to No. 58 in the world.

Meanwhile,top-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova struggled through to the second round of the Strasbourg International with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over fellow countrywoman Regina Kulikova.

After defeat in the first round at Madrid last week, Sharapova needed 2 hours and 14 minutes on Monday to claim her first victory on clay this season.

The formerly top-ranked Sharapova, who has been hampered by an injury to her right elbow this season, converted only four of 22 break points.

The three-time Grand Slam winner will next face either Tatjana Malek of Germany or a qualifier for a quarterfinalist spot.

Anastasia Rodionova of Australia also advanced to the second round with a 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Ayumi Morita of Japan.

    AP contributed to this report.

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