Pe'er beats Suarez to reach 3rd round in LA

The Israeli tennis player to face world's 6th-ranked player, Russia's Elena Dementieva, whom she beat in French Open three months ago.

shahar peer 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
shahar peer 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Shahar Pe'er advanced to the third round of the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles on Wednesday by defeating Paola Suarez of Argentina 6-2, 6-3. The Israeli dominated and will now face the world's sixth ranked player, Elena Dementieva, in the third round. Seeing Dementieva on the other side of the net will bring back happy memories for Pe'er. The Israeli beat the Russian in the third round of the French Open three months ago, recording the biggest win of her career. Peer (25) began Wednesday's match well, breaking Suarez in the second game of the first set and grabbing a 2-0 lead. The Argentinean broke back and evened the score at 2-2. The Israeli followed the small setback by reeling off four straight games and won the set 6-2. Peer opened an early 4-1 lead in the second set and closed out the match with a love game, winning the second set 6-3. "I'm feeling good about my tennis right now," Pe'er wrote on a blog that is appearing all week on the WTA Web site. "Although the very beginning of my season was not very good, I had some really good tournaments in a row, winning Pattaya City, Prague and Istanbul, and of course going to the fourth round of the French Open - I was really happy about that. "My grass court season wasn't so good but it happens; now I'm playing well again and my confidence is up. So I hope to do well this week." If Pe'er was able to overcome Dementieva later Thursday, she will have a great opportunity to advance to the semifinals of the $600,000 tournament. The top seeds on her side of the draw lost in the early rounds and should the Israeli win in the third round, she would face in the quarterfinals either American Bethanie Mattek (128) or Alona Bondarenko (72). Pe'er's excellent form this week has come after a couple of months of poor singles play, and the 19 year old has revealed a possible explanation behind her improvement. "My main coach, Jose Higueras, and my traveling coach from Israel, Oded Teig, are both with me this week," she noted. "Jose would normally just come to the Grand Slams with me, but he lives close by in Palm Springs so he decided to come." Pe'er also revealed on her blog her feelings on her newfound fame. "Because of my Israeli army training, and also my tennis, I've been doing a lot of interviews in the last few months. I like all the extra attention. A lot of times people will recognize me now and they are so nice to me. "It's a lot of fun because I'm young, just coming up, and with everything going on back home, the fans in Israel really appreciate when they can find some good news."