Pe'er wins in Madrid

Israeli tennis player climbs into world's top-20.

shahar peer 311 (photo credit: courtesy)
shahar peer 311
(photo credit: courtesy)
Shahar Pe’er will climb back into the world’s top-20 next week after advancing to the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters on Thursday.
The Israeli, currently ranked number 22 in the world, beat Arantxa Parra Santonja (65) of Spain 7-5, 6-2 in the third round, converting five of her seven break points while saving five of Santonja’s seven attempts.
In the quarterfinals, Pe’er will face world No. 13 Na Li, with the Israeli winning their last meeting played in the quarters of the Dubai tournament in February.
Pe’er also progressed to the semifinals of the doubles tournament in Madrid on Thursday, teaming-up with Francesca Schiavone to beat Vania King and Chia-Jung Chuang 7-6 (3), 6-3. The Israeli/Italian duo will next play No. 1 seeds Serena and Venus Williams.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal reached the quarterfinals of the men’s Madrid Masters by seeing off big-serving John Isner of the United States 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday.
Isner, who reached the clay final in Belgrade last weekend, held his own against the second-seeded Spaniard before losing his serve in the 11th game of the first set, during which he received treatment to his arm.
Nadal served out for the set and broke the American early in the second before holding his service for victory.
Nadal came into the Madrid Masters on the back of tournament wins in Monte Carlo and Rome. The 2005 champion and 2009 finalist hopes to extend the record for Masters titles of 17 he shares with Andre Agassi.
Earlier, Fernando Verdasco’s 7-5, 6-3 third-round loss to Jurgen Melzer of Austria left only three of the top six seeds in the tournament.
The Austrian player will next play Nicolas Almagro of Spain, ensuringthere will be at least one unseeded player in the semifinals. Almagrobeat Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-4, 6-1.
In the women’s third round, eighth-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australiabeat Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 7-6 (3), 6-2 to set up aquarterfinal with Venus Williams.
“It’s Venus so you have to expect a good match,” Stosur said. “Clayprobably isn’t her favorite surface. We’ve played a few times and I’venever been able to win so it’s one of those times when I have to go outthere and give it my best shot.”