Pe'er breezes through to quarters in Budapest

French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt, who was recently banned for betting on matches, dies at 24.

Shahar Peer 224.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
Shahar Peer 224.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Shahar Pe'er advanced to the quarterfinals of the Budapest Grand Prix on Wednesday, thrashing Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-0. The 21-year-old Israeli, who has fallen to No. 63 in the world following a foot injury, dominated the tournament's defending champion, who is ranked 40 places above her, and clinched the win in just one hour and seven minutes. In the quarterfinals, Peer will face sixth seeded Alona Bondarenko, who beat Romanian Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-4 4-6 6-4. In other tennis news, French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt, who was recently banned for betting on matches, has died. He was 24. The French tennis federation said Tuesday that Montcourt died overnight but the cause of death is not yet known, and an autopsy will be conducted. French media reported the 119th-ranked Montcourt was found dead by his girlfriend in the stairwell of his Paris apartment. In May, Montcourt was handed a five-week ban and fined $12,000 for betting on other matches. That ban took effect Monday. Four-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal grew up playing against Montcourt on the junior circuit. "This morning I woke up with one of the worst news anyone can receive," Nadal said on his Web site. "I heard about the death of our friend Mathieu Montcourt. I am still under shock for this. I can't believe it." Montcourt complained during the French Open that the punishment was too harsh, saying that he never bet more than $3 at any time, and never on his own matches - a fact confirmed by the ATP, which oversees the men's Tour. In local tennis news, the draw for the order of play for Israel's Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against Russia this weekend will take place on Thursday afternoon. The draw will reveal which players Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev plans to play in Friday's singles matches, as well the order of the matches on Friday and Sunday.