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(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er crashed to a surprising defeat Wednesday evening, losing 6-2, 6-3 to Jie Zheng of China in the second round of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Israeli, who is ranked 15th in the world and was seeded 5th in the $1,340,000 Tier I tournament, was restricted by an injury in her match against Zheng after cutting her hand earlier in the week following a fall in training.
Zheng (38) raced to a 5-1 lead after breaking Pe'er twice and wrapped up the first set on her serve in the eighth game.
Pe'er got her first break of the match in the sixth game of the second set and tied the score at 3-3. But Zheng broke Pe'er to love in the following game and completed a straight-sets victory in the ninth game with another break of serve.
Pe'er, who reached the second round of the tournament after receiving a first-round bye, will now set her sights on Israel's Federation Cup tie against Canada next weekend.
The Israeli teenager teamed-up with Tzipi Obziler in the doubles tournament on Wednesday in preparation for the World Group II first-round tie. The Israeli duo will need to continue to work on their teamwork, after losing to Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-2 in the first round.
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