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(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er is still searching for her first Grand Slam quaterfinal victory, after losing 6-4, 6-1 to the world's No. 6 ranked player, Anna Chakvetadze, in the last eight of the US Open on Wednesday night.
Pe'er (19), who lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year, was aiming to become the first Israeli to reach the last four of a major.
The 20-year-old Russian claimed 10 of the last 11 games and ran her Israeli opponent ragged in the latter stages of the match.
"I just started to play more aggressively," Chakvetadze said of her excellent run of games.
Pe'er was the more consistent player at the start of the match and was the first to break serve. Chavetadze, however, picked up her play as the match progressed and won almost all of the important points.
The Russian converted five of her eight break points in the match and just as importantly saved seven of Pe'er's eight break opportunities in the final 12 games of the encounter.
"I'm very, very disappointed," Pe'er said after the match. "I think we are more or less equal players. Anna's been playing really good tennis in the last few months and that's why she's a top 10 player.
"I began this slam after the two worst months of my career. I also got injured just before the tournament started and didn't even know if I would play. Therefore, I'm very happy with my achievement. I played good tennis and defeated very good players." Chakvetadze began Wednesday's match with a double fault, but held serve in the first game after a Pe'er unforced error. The Israeli held serve in the following game and would claim the first break of the match in the fifth game.
Multiple unforced errors by Chakvetadze gifted Pe'er the break, with the Russian sending the ball long on the Israeli's first break point.
Pe'er consolidated her break with a love hold in the subsequent game and moved to within two games of clinching the set. A forehand winner brought Chakvetadze within one game of her opponent and a break of serve in the following game would tie the set.
The Russian opened a 40-0 lead in the eighth game and despite Pe'er saving two of the break points Chakvetadze clinched the game on her third chance, after the Israeli sent a forehand long.
Pe'er opened a 40-15 lead in the ninth game, but missed the golden opportunity, squandering the two break points and losing the game after putting her forehand long.
Chakvetadze wrapped up the set with ease in the next game with a clinical display of ground shots that stunned the Israeli into submission.
Pe'er stopped the rot in the first game of the second set, breaking the Russian with a forehand winner on her fourth break point. Chakvetadze, however, answered back immediately, converting her first break point in the next game.
The Russian opened a commanding lead with another break in the fourth game and opened an unassailable advantage with a third break in the sixth game.
Pe'er became more and more helpless as the second set progressed and Chakvetadze eventually sent her packing with a forehand winner.
"I think we were both nervous in the first set, but I was up a break and had a big chance at 4-4," Pe'er said. "From that point onwards she played very well and dominated the match. She is a very good player who gets back a lot of balls and knows to place them well. I'm working hard and I think I can and will be a top 10 player. I don't know when, but I believe in myself and will continue to work hard."
In the other women's match of the day Svetlana Kuznetsova moved into the semifinals for the first time since winning the 2004 title, beating unseeded Agnes Szavay 6-1, 6-4.