Pe’er fights through breaks to advance

The wet weather in Tasmania meant it took the Israeli over seven-and-a-half hours to complete victory.

Shahar Peer 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Shahar Peer 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Shahar Pe’er overcame three rain delays and Australian Sacha Jones to progress to the quarterfinals of the Hobart International in Australia on Wednesday.
The wet weather in Tasmania meant it took the Israeli over seven-and-a-half hours to complete a 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory over Jones (272) to book a last eight meeting with Russian Anna Chakvetadze.
Jones won the first two games in each set, but Pe’er (37) lifted her performance when she needed to and after two hours and 15 minutes of actual play time she recorded another confidence-boosting victory ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
Pe’er has a 2-4 career record against Chakvetadze, but she did win their last meeting in Indian Wells in 2009. The Russian was ranked as high as No. 5 in 2007, but she is currently only at No. 234 after missing the back-end of last season with an ankle injury.
Amir Weintraub’s Australian Open dream ended in the first round of the qualifiers on Wednesday, with the 25-year-old Israeli falling to a 6-4, 6-0 loss to Italy’s Marco Crugnola.
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki faces a battle to be fit for the Australian Open after being reduced to tears during a dramatic defeat by Agnieszka Radwanska at the Sydney International on Wednesday.
Wozniacki lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a late-night quarterfinal thriller, which could signal the end of her reign as world No. 1 with Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova in position to take top spot within 48 hours.
The Dane’s left wrist was strapped when trailing 1- 2 in the deciding set, just five days before the start of the year’s first grand slam.
“I hope it’s not serious,” she told reporters. “I should be completely fine for Australian Open. I started feeling it more and more during the match.”
Wozniacki, who has never won a grand slam, faces the prospect of starting the Australian Open as the top seed having relinquished the world No. 1 spot between the draw and play getting underway at Melbourne Park.
Kvitova is guaranteed to knock Wozniacki off the top if she wins the final in Sydney.
Kvitova was highly impressive in her 6-0, 6-4 thumping of Slovakia’s world No. 21 Daniel Hantuchova on Ken Rosewall Arena.
While it remains to be seen how serious Wozniacki’s injury is, one player who is already out of the Aussie Open is Germany’s No. 1 Andrea Petkovic, who sustained a stress fracture.