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Shahar Peer loses in Austrailian Open 370.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Pe’er in another poor showing in 1st-round loss
Shahar Pe’er suffers another defeat in the first round of the first round of the Pattaya Open.
Shahar Pe’er suffered her fourth defeat of the year to a player ranked 100 or lower on Tuesday, falling 6-3, 6-3 to Russian Nina Bratchikova, ranked No. 130 in the world, in the first round of the Pattaya Open in Thailand.

The 25-year-old Israeli claimed her first win in six months when she advanced to the second round of the Australian Open two weeks ago, but she has now lost in the opening round in eight of her past nine tournaments, stretching back to last July.

Pe’er’s fourth defeat of the year to a player ranked 100 or lower equals the amount of such losses she suffered throughout a bitterly disappointing 2012, with the Israeli only losing twice to players outside of the top-100 in 2011 and going unbeaten against such opponents in 2010.

Pe’er will return to Israel in the coming days to prepare for next week’s Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I matches, which will be played in Eilat between February 6-9.

Israel, which was drawn to face Poland, Romania and Turkey in Pool C, will need to finish first to advance to a tie against another of the three pool winners for a place in April’s World Group II playoffs.

Pe’er was very candid when speaking of her struggles last week before suffering another setback in Thailand.

“This is very difficult for me, but I still love what I do and I’m working hard and I hope that things will get better soon,” said Pe’er, who could drop out of the top-100 next week. “I haven’t played well in a long time and you can’t change that overnight.

“You need to be patient and have faith in yourself.

Things will come together at some stage, but I don’t know if it will be in a week, a month or a year.”
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