Opinion: Is she really this good?

Pe'er is either very humble or has no idea of how good she is.

peer  airport 298.88 (photo credit: Frankie Sachs)
peer airport 298.88
(photo credit: Frankie Sachs)
Just a month ago, while preparing for the 2007 season, Shahar Pe'er was asked if she can become a top-10 player this year. The 19-year-old laughed at the question. "I'll be happy to cement my place in the top 20," she said. "I don't think I can reach the top 10 this season." Pe'er is either very humble or has no idea of how good she is. After watching the Israeli defeat world No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, it is quite clear that Pe'er is on her way to the top 10 and that she is not wasting any time getting there. Pe'er didn't just beat Kuznetsova, but thoroughly outplayed the world's fourth-ranked player. The Russian has been ranked in or around the top five for the last two years, ever since she won the 2004 US Open, but on Sunday, she was relegated by Pe'er to a mere spectator. The Israeli broke down Kuznetsova's game with her stunning backhand and showed that offseason work on her serve has worked miracles on what used to be her big weakness. So how far can Pe'er go in the Aussie Open? Or for that matter, how much better can she still get in the coming years? We'll, her display on Sunday was both frightening and beautiful. It's safe to say that Israeli sport has never had such a prospect at such a major sport. It's scary to think Pe'er is still only a teenager and that she is already rewriting Israeli sports record books. Next up for Pe'er, former world No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams. Surely the Israeli won't beat her and reach the last four - or will she? You just don't know with Pe'er anymore.