Pe’er struggles, but bests Mattek-Sands in Cali

Shahar Pe’er overcame a scare to beat Bethanie Mattek- Sands 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 on her way to the third round of the Indian Wells tournament.

By REUTERS
March 13, 2011 04:35
2 minute read.
Shahar Pe'er hopes to crack the WTA top 10.

shahar peer_311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Shahar Pe’er overcame a scare to beat Bethanie Mattek- Sands 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Friday on her way to the third round of the Indian Wells tournament in California.

Pe’er, ranked number 12 in the world and seeded 10th at Indian Wells, was broken six times by Mattek-Sands and needed two hours and 29 minutes to improve to 5-0 in her career against the American.

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The 23-year-old Israeli will have to play considerably better if she wants to make it through to the last 16 of the prestigious $4.5 million event, with her next opponent being world No. 19 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Holder Jelena Jankovic and Belgian world number two Kim Clijsters each made short shrift of their opponents as they cruised into the third round.

Jankovic launched her title defense with a crushing 6-2, 6-1 victory over American teenager Coco Vandeweghe while Clijsters demolished Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2 6-0.

Jankovic, wearing a bright apricot dress, broke the errorprone Vandeweghe twice in the opening set and three times in the second to make a triumphant start as the sixth seed in the elite event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The 26-year-old Serb, who beat Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in last year’s final, sealed victory on her second match point when the American wildcard netted a backhand.

“There wasn’t a lot of rhythm out there,” Jankovic told reporters after playing the first match of the day on the showpiece stadium court in dazzling sunshine.

“She made a lot of mistakes...

and the points were very short. I didn’t really have a chance to hit a lot of balls, because that’s the style of play she has. She really goes for every shot, goes for a big serve.

“So all I had to do was get the ball in play and kind of wait for my chances. I did what I had to do, and I’m happy to get to the next round.”

World number six Jankovic will next meet 32nd-seeded German Julia Georges.

Clijsters, champion in 2003 and 2005, needed only 52 minutes to brush aside the 23- year-old Kudryavtseva.

“Everything could be better, of course,” the four-times grand slam champion said.

“But for a first match, I’m at a stage now where I haven’t played for a while and when I was playing, my last few tournaments were indoors.”

Clijsters, who won the Australian Open in January, had not previously competed for almost a month since losing to Czech Petra Kvitova in the Paris Open final.

“So I kind of just have to get back into playing outdoors again and in big arenas... just get a feel for it all over again because it’s been a while,” said the 27-year-old Belgian, who will next face Italian Sara Errani.

In other matches, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, the fifth seed, eased past Czech Zuzana Ondraskova 6-2 6-0 and 17thseeded Russian Pavlyuchenkova brushed aside Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 7-5.

Third-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-3 7-6 while Kvitova, the 12th seed, was upset 3-6 6-2 7-5 by fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.


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