Shahar in stunning form, pulls off upset of Jankovic

The Persian Gulf continued to do wonders for Shahar Pe’er’s play with the 24-year-old Israeli advancing to the third round of the Qatar Open.

By
February 15, 2012 23:38
1 minute read.
Shahar Peer

Shahar Peer 390. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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The Persian Gulf continued to do wonders for Shahar Pe’er’s play on Wednesday, with the 24-year-old Israeli advancing to the third round of the Qatar Open with her biggest win of the year, a 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory over world No. 13 Jelena Jankovic.

Pe’er, ranked No. 37 in the world, had lost all four of her matches against top- 30 players in 2012 until Wednesday and entered the tournament in Doha in far from ideal form, losing two of her three Fed Cup singles encounters in Eilat two weeks ago before taking just four games off Julia Goerges in the first round of the Paris Open last Tuesday.

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However, Pe’er, who advanced to the second round in Doha with a double bagel over Nadia Lalami, has now beaten a top player for a second straight year in Qatar after progressing to the second round of the event in 2011 with a victory over then world No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Israel’s No. 1 has recorded even more success in the Persian Gulf’s other WTA tournament, reaching at least the quarterfinals in her previous two appearances in Dubai.

Pe’er, who hadn’t defeated a top-20 player since getting the better of then No. 5 Francesca Schiavone in Indian Wells last March, made her intentions clear by breaking Jankovic, a former world No. 1, in the first game on Wednesday.

The Israeli raced into a 5-2 lead, and despite twice failing to serve out the set, held her nerve to take the tiebreak, with the Serbian committing two double faults in the breaker of the 13 she served throughout the match.

Pe’er built on the momentum to open a 3-0 lead in the second set and remained in front to book a last-16 meeting against American Christina McHale (38).

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McHale surprised China’s Shuai Peng (16) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round on Wednesday.

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