US Open Tennis: Pe'er to face Beijing semifinalist Li first

Pe'er, currently ranked 25 in the world, is the only Israeli woman in the US Open draw.

peer 88 (photo credit:)
peer 88
(photo credit: )
After suffering a second round exit at the Olympics Shahar Pe'er faces a tough match in the first round of the US Open against China's female number one Na Li at Flushing Meadows on Monday. Pe'er, currently ranked 25 in the world, is the only Israeli woman in the US Open draw following Tzipi Obziler's defeat to American Shenay Perry in the qualifiers last week. The 36th ranked Li comes into the final Grand Slam of the year following a superb performance at the Olympics where she made it to the semifinals, beating Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round and American Venus Williams in the quarterfinals before losing to Russian Dinara Safina. In contrast, Pe'er disappointed at the Olympics, losing to Russian Vera Zvnonerava in the last 32. The pair have only played each other once before in competition, with Li knocking Pe'er out in the round of 16 during her historic appearance at the Doha tournament in February. The 21-year-old Israeli has had a difficult year but will hope to at least repeat her impressive showing in New York last year when she reached the quarterfinals. As well as Pe'er, fellow Isaeli Dudi Sela will also be competing at the US Open and will face Russian Nikolay Davidenko in the first round of the men's singles tournament. Harel Levy failed to make it past the qualifiers after losing to German Andreas Beck. Meanwhile, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich will hope to rebuild after their first round exit at the Olympics. They play Americans Robert Kendrick and Ryan Sweeting in the first round of the men's doubles tournament.