(photo credit: Reuters)
For the first time in more than eight years, Shahar Pe’er has failed to reach the main draw of two consecutive Grand Slam tournaments after suffering a shock exit in the first round of the US Open qualifiers on Tuesday.
Pe’er, who was seeded No. 1 in the qualifiers as the world No. 80, entered the tournament on the back of winning her first WTA Tour title in four years, but dropped to a dejecting 6-4, 7-6 (3) loss to Ksenia Pervak (156) in the opening round in New York.
Pe’er had surged up the rankings in recent weeks after reaching the final in Baku, Azerbaijan before winning the title in Suzhou, China last week. She was forced to play in the qualifiers as she was not ranked high enough at the cut off date last month, and following Tuesday’s defeat she will miss the US Open main draw for the first time in nine years.
Pe’er failed to qualify for Wimbledon last month, missing her first major since the 2009 French Open, which she sat out due to injury.
Until this year’s Wimbledon, Pe’er had played in the main draw in 32 of 33 Grand Slams since making her main draw debut at Roland Garros in 2005.
Amir Weintraub (187) advanced to the second round of the men’s qualifiers on Tuesday, defeating 17-year-old American Noah Rubin (864) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
Weintraub will next face Oleksandr Nedovyesov (156).
Julia Glushko will play Saisai Zheng of China in her first round match in the qualifiers on Wednesday.
World No. 1 and defending champion Serena Williams has been given the top seeding for the US Open, organizers announced on Tuesday.
Belarussia’s Victoria Azarenka, who beat Williams in Sunday’s final of the Cincinnati Open, is the second seed ahead of Maria Sharapova of Russia and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.
Williams heads into the Open, which starts on August 26, looking to add to her French Open title from this year, her 16th Grand Slam singles triumph, which includes four championships at Flushing Meadows.
Williams’ sister Venus, a twotimes US Open winner but currently ranked 60th in the world, was unseeded.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is the top seed in the men’s draw which includes five-times US Open champion and 17-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer as seventh seed – the first time the Swiss has been placed outside the top three in a Grand Slam in over ten years.
Spaniard Rafa Nadal is the number two seed, ahead of Britain’s Andy Murray, the defending champion and this year’s Wimbledon winner.
The draw for the tournament will be held on Thursday.
In other tennis news, Serbia’s Viktor Troicki has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over his 18-month suspension for violating doping regulations, the Lausannebased tribunal said on Tuesday.
“The CAS procedure is in progress and a decision will be issued in around four months,” CAS said in a statement.
The 27-year-old was suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in July for not providing a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.
Troicki, a member of the Serbia team which won the Davis Cup in 2010, was ranked 53rd when the ITF announced his ban.
He is one of the most high profile players to break doping rules in tennis Troicki has denied any wrongdoing and said because he was not feeling well the doping officer had told him he could skip the blood test. Troicki had already given a urine sample.
He has been publicly supported by compatriot and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.Reuters contributed to this report