Pe’er breaks out of slump with Maryland triumph

Tennis player claims first victory in over two months after saving nine of 10 break points against Ryoko Fuda at the Maryland Open.

Peer 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Peer 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Shahar Pe’er claimed her first victory in over two months on Tuesday, defeating Ryoko Fuda 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Maryland Open.
The 24-year-old’s last win came on May 11 in the second round of the Italian Open in Rome, after which she went on to lose five straight matches, which included four consecutive first-round exits, two of them at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Pe’er hadn’t played a singles match since her opening-round loss at the All England Club over five weeks ago, taking a break in Israel and focusing on training ahead of the North American hard court season.
Pe’er, ranked number 24 in the world and seeded No. 1 in Maryland, saved nine of 10 break points against Fuda (302), but will be expecting a tougher encounter against Russian Alla Kudryavtseva (75), who she has beaten in their only previous meeting.
Meanwhile, in other action Serena Williams reached the second round of the Stanford Classic by trouncing Australian Anastasia Rodionova 6-0, 6-0.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion said that while she should be patient given what she has gone through during the past year, that approach is not in her makeup.
“I want to get back to the top,” said Williams, whose ranking has fallen to No. 169 as she only has two tournaments in her points total.
“And I have no patience. But maybe this is teaching me to be more patient. And it’ll come, but not necessarily – No. 1 is great, but I really want to be able to do well in the Grand Slams.”
Williams made her comeback to the WTA Tour from foot surgery and a life-threatening illness at the grasscourt tournament in Eastbourne , winning one match before falling to world number three Vera Zvonareva.
As the defending champion at Wimbledon, she won three rounds before going down to France’s Marion Bartoli.
While she cautioned at Wimbledon that she shouldn’t be expected to do much given that she nearly died while experiencing a pulmonary embolism in February, she was less than pleased with her early exit.
After the tournament, she flew home to Los Angeles and immediately started practicing.
“Definitely I was disappointed even though I shouldn’t have been, so I hit the courts,” she said.
“I didn’t deserve a break. I didn’t practice on the plane ride back, so that was about it.”
Reuters contributed to this report.