(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er made a successful return to the WTA tour on Tuesday night, defeating Emma Laine of Finland 6-4, 6-3, in the first round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis.
The Israeli, who is ranked No. 17 in the world, was away from the tour the last three weeks. She hopes to regain her early-season form that saw her climb all the way to No. 15 at the end of January.
Pe'er, who is seeded first in a WTA tournament for the first time in her career, hit two double faults in the first game of Tuesday's match and was broken immediately. However, she dominated her opponent's serve throughout the match, breaking Laine (97) in seven of her nine service games. Despite serving poorly herself, she wrapped up the first set 6-4.
Pe'er surged into a 5-1 advantage in the second set and even though she was broken in the seventh game, completed a 6-3 win, booking her place in the second round.
She will play the winner of the first-round match between Venezuelan Milagros Sequera (84) and Russian Alina Jidkova (262).