SHAHAR PEER 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Every first-round loss is desperately disappointing, but Shahar Pe’er’s early
Wimbledon exit on Monday was even worse.
I have seen Pe’er following
tough defeats before, but never have I seen her so stunned and
No player likes to talk after a crushing blow, but it was not
that Pe’er didn’t want to speak after Monday’s 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Ksenia
Pervak, it was as if she almost couldn’t; she was virtually
Mumbling semi-coherent sentences, Pe’er looked to be in a
completely different world.
It is impossible to know what was going
through her head, but perhaps it was the stark reality finally hitting home that
so dazed the Israeli.
Four straight first-round exits – including in two
Grand Slams – all to players ranked outside the world’s top 70, is something
which simply cannot be ignored.
If Pe’er had any illusions that her
recent defeats were no more than incidental, on Monday she finally fully
Pe’er has slowly lost her way since splitting
with coach Pablo Giacopelli last July, but after his replacement Craig Kardon
lasted just seven months, she believes that Harold Solomon, who first guided her
on an interim basis in March, is the right man to take her forward in a full
time role, despite the recent results.
“I think I wasn’t playing that
well at the beginning of the year, but now I feel I’m playing better, trying to
be more aggressive, and I just need to take my chances,” Pe’er said on Monday in
one of the few sentences she was able to utter.
“I think Solomon is a
very good coach.
Obviously I don’t have my best record with him, but I
hope I play better in the summer and reach higher rounds.”
change is seemingly out of the question, but with just a single win or less in
10 of 14 tournaments in 2011, clearly something must be done.
fact that the severity of her situation has now finally sunk in, Pe’er will be
able to find the inner strength needed to make a winning
Something seemed to crack inside of Shahar with Monday’s loss,
with sadness rather than frustration emerging as the dominant
But for a player first and foremost renowned for her character
and determination, there is good reason to hope that from this heartache she can
rise to new heights.
She certainly believes so.
“I need to try and
get better every day. Work hard and try and play better every match,” Pe’er
said. “Every athlete has ups and down and I hope to start winning matches
“I haven’t won too many matches lately, but I think I am a good
enough player to get into the top 10.”