Pe’er drops marathon three-setter in Barcelona

The start of the clay-court season provided no respite for a struggling Shahar Pe’er.

SHAHAR PE’ER 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The start of the clay-court season provided no respite for a struggling Shahar Pe’er.
The 24-year-old Israeli was knocked out in the first round of the Barcelona Open on Monday with a 6-1, 5-7, 7-5 defeat to Petra Cetkovska.
Pe’er, who is ranked at No. 54 in the world, one place above her lowest ranking since September 2009 (which she occupied just two weeks ago), was two points away from a defeat in the 10th game of the second set.
However, she came back to break Cetkovska (28) and took the next two games to tie the match.
The Czech reeled off three straight games in the third set to open a 5-2 lead and had three-match points after moving into a 40-0 advantage in the eighth game.
But Pe’er wasn’t done, winning 10 straight points and eventually taking three straight games to tie the score (5-5).
The Israeli had a chance to move into the lead in the subsequent game, but was instead broken for the eighth time in the match and dropped to a defeat after two hours and 24 minutes.
Elsewhere, after defeating Portugal 3-2 to advance to the World Group playoffs, Israel’s Davis Cup team awaits Wednesday’s draw to discover who it will face over the weekend of September 14-16 for a place among the world’s top-16 nations.
Israel will be seeded in the draw and can face one of eight teams: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa and Uzbekistan.
The national team will be crossing its fingers to be paired with either Chile or Netherlands as it is guaranteed to host those ties, while another draw will have to be made to determine home court should it be placed opposite Australia, Japan, Brazil or Uzbekistan.
A draw against Belgium or South Africa will see Israel play on the road.