Pe'er reaches Istanbul quarters

With the clay court Grand Slam only days away, Pe'er has been riding a fine run of form.

shahar peer 298.88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
shahar peer 298.88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Shahar Pe'er sailed to the quarterfinals of the Istanbul Cup on Wednesday, but that was the only good news on the court for Israeli players as Tzipi Obziler and Noam Okun were eliminated in the French Open qualifying rounds and Anna Smashnova went out in the second round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg in France. With the clay court Grand Slam only days away, Pe'er has been riding a fine run of form and it continued in Turkey with a straight sets win over Polish prospect Urszula Radwanska. Seeded fourth and ranked 33rd in the world, Pe'er eased by Radwanska (458) by a score of 6-3, 6-0 and will next face Italian Mara Santangelo (37). The match is scheduled to open the day at 11 a.m. on Center Court. Pe'er defeated Santangelo 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 last year at Auckland in their only previous encounter. Later in the day, Pe'er will be in action against Radwanska again. Pe'er and partner Janette Husarova of Slovakia are scheduled to meet Urszula Radwanska and sister Agnieszka in the doubles quarterfinals. Smashnova (50) made a valiant comeback after a dismal opening set against Jelena Jankovic (35) of Serbia, whom she upset last year in the first round of the French Open. But this time, Smashnova didn't have enough to take down the No.8 seed and bowed out 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. The veteran Israeli will now rest until the start of play next week in Paris. Obziler (134), hoping to join her Fed Cup teammates Pe'er and Smashnova at Roland Garros, saw her chance slip away with a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Poland's Joanna Sakowicz (195) in the first of three qualifying rounds. Okun (219), who defeated American Hugo Armando (193) by a 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-3 score on Tuesday, lost in straight sets to Frenchman Stephane Robert (231). After dropping the opening set 6-2, Okun led 3-5 in the second, but lost the next four games and a chance to reach the final qualifying round. On Thursday, Dudi Sela and Harel Levy will try to avoid similar fates. Levy (234) will meet Columbian Alejandro Falla (138), who is seeded 21st in qualifying. The two have never before faced one another. Sela (163) faces Julio Silva (212) of Brazil. They have also never played each other before. Last year Sela advanced to the main draw via the qualifying rounds and faced world No. 1 Roger Federer on center court, losing 6-1, 6-4, 6-0.