Tennis: On-form Pe'er into third round

Despite being completely outplayed in the first set, the 49th ranked Israeli bounces back in the second and third sets.

March 15, 2009 07:01
Tennis: On-form Pe'er into third round

Shahar Peer 248.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Shahar Pe'er claimed her most impressive win of the year on Friday, defeating world number 12 Marion Bartoli 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the third round of the $4.5 million Indian Wells tournament in California. Despite being completely outplayed in the first set, the 49th ranked Israeli bounced back in the second and third sets, dominating on Bartoli's service games. She earned 17 break points in the final two sets combined and broke the the Frenchwoman six times en route to an impressive victory. Pe'er, who hadn't defeated a top-15 player since getting the better of Dinara Safina in Wimbledon last July, now faces another stern test, Russia's Anna Chakvetadze (24 in the world). Chakvetadze has a 4-1 headto-head advantage over Pe'er, but lost to the Israeli in the fourth round in Indian Wells two years ago. Meanwhile, Safina's quest for the world's No. 1 ranking looked in danger as she fought off three set points before beating Tina Pironkova 7-6 (8), 6-2 in the second round on Friday. Safina can replace Serena Williams atop the WTA Tour rankings by reaching the final of this 12-day event.

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