Shahar Peer 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Two weeks after suffering one of the most lopsided defeats of her career, Shahar
Pe’er returns to action this weekend at the prestigious Indian Wells tournament
Pe’er’s last match on the WTA Tour ended in a 6-1, 6-0
thrashing at the hands of Marion Bartoli in the second round in Doha, Qatar, the
third time in five tournaments this year that the 23- year-old Israeli has
failed to progress past the second round.
Despite her mediocre season so
far, Pe’er, ranked No. 12 in the world, remains just 175 ranking points
from a place in the top-10 and will be hoping for another successful week at
Indian Wells, an event she has enjoyed success at throughout her
In four of her previous five appearances at the Indian Wells
Tennis Garden, Pe’er has reached at least the last 16, advancing as far as the
quarterfinals in 2007.
As the No. 10 seed, Pe’er has received a
first-round bye this year and is awaiting the winner of Wednesday night’s match
between Bethanie Mattek- Sands and Vera Dushevina.
Meanwhile, the top
men’s players will also be in action in Indian Wells over the next week, with
in-form Novak Djokovic, who has won two titles this year including the
Australian Open, looking to replace Roger Federer as world No. 2.
third-ranked Serb is scheduled to meet Federer in the semifinals and would
surpass the Swiss in the global rankings should he win that
For Djokovic, though, the rankings will take care of
themselves. He is much more concerned with staying fit and maintaining his
superb early-season form.
“I want to take one tournament at a time,” the
23-yearold told reporters in the build-up to the first Masters Series event of
the year. “I’ve been talking about my goals too many times in the past years and
right now I just want to be playing consistently well.
“I want to keep up
the good form that I have, stay fit and just take care of my health and my
“I’ve done it really well in the last two months. I
know that if I feel and play this way, I have a good chance to stay in the top
three,” added the Serb, who reached a careerhigh second in the rankings in
February last year.
Djokovic has been the dominant figure in the men’s
game this year, crushing Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, to claim his second
Australian Open title in late January and then outplaying Federer 6-3 6-3 to win
last month’s Dubai championships.
Helped by a much improved serve, the
Serb has signaled he is a genuine third force at the top of men’s tennis – along
with Federer and world number one Rafael Nadal.
Federer, however, believes that fourth-ranked Swede Robin Soderling and
Britain’s Murray (fifth) are also significant factors at the game’s
“The top-five players have played really well the last six
months,” Federer, a threetime champion at Indian Wells, said after losing the
Dubai championships final to Djokovic.
“Someone always has to win one
tournament. At the end of the day, we’ve been able to share those a little bit
to be honest. So I don’t feel it’s a three-horse race right now."
still is the favorite. He’s won three of the four slams. Novak has not
lost a match yet this season, but the season is still really short. I’ve been
playing well. Murray has been playing well. Soderling hasn’t been playing
Soderling has won three ATP tournaments this season, more than
anyone else, and is seeded to meet Nadal in the semifinals at Indian
Spaniard Nadal will be bidding for a third title at the imposing,
state-of-the-art Indian Wells venue, having previously triumphed here in 2007