Pe'er enters Israeli championships in confident mood

Peer enters Israeli cha

After a roller coaster 2009, Shahar Pe'er is confident that the coming year will be far more successful. The 22-year-old began 2009 at number 38 in the world and will end it at No. 30. However, the past 12 months were full of trials and tribulations for Pe'er, who at one stage dropped to No. 68 in the WTA rankings and also missed more than a month through injury, including the French Open, because of a stress fracture in her right foot. "I've been through a difficult year, but I think I'm a better player for it," Pe'er said on Sunday. "I'm feeling better both mentally and physically. I'm expecting big things to happen in the coming year." Pe'er, who will begin the defense of her national title on Monday when she faces Liat Zimmerman in the first round of the Israeli championships in Ra'anana, feels she still has plenty of room for improvement. "I need to work on my serve, be more aggressive and finish off easy points," she said. "The Israeli championships are always a good opportunity to test out the things you have been working on in the off-season. I'm happy to be part of this tradition." Also Sunday, Ramle claimed the men's State Cup with a 2-0 victory over ASA Tel Aviv. Noam Okun and Amir Weintraub won both their matches in straight sets to give Ramle its 13th cup triumph. The women's final was won by Givat Ala/Haifa, which beat ASA Tel Aviv 2-1. Chen Astrogo and Yael Glitzenstein defeated Tzipi Obziler and Julia Glushko 6-7 (6), 6-3, 10-8 in the decisive doubles match.