Pe’er saves three match points, advances to last 16

Shahar moves on at Indian Wells.

shahar peer 311 (photo credit: courtesy)
shahar peer 311
(photo credit: courtesy)
Shahar Pe’er saved three match points to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Sunday and advance to the last 16 of the Indian Wells WTA tournament for the fifth time in six appearances.
The 23-year-old Israeli, ranked number 12 in the world and seeded 10th at the prestigious event in California, was outplayed in the first set, and despite having momentum on her side after tying up the match, lost the first three games of the third set.
Pavlyuchenkova (19) served for the match in the ninth game of the decisive set, but Pe’er would save one match point at 3-5 and two more in the subsequent game before eventually completing a four-game run to book a place in the fourth round.
“It was a tough match today and I’m really happy I was able to come back and win,” said Pe’er, who won just 48 percent (93 of 192) of the points in the match that lasted two hours and 17 minutes. “I just kept fighting and fighting. I love Indian Wells because I stay with friends and really enjoy my time here.”
Pe’er’s next goal will be to reach the quarterfinals in Indian Wells for just the second time in her career and the first since 2007. She faces world No. 5 Francesca Schiavone in the last 16 after Italy’s French Open champion brushed aside Alize Cornet of France 6-2, 6-3.
Pe’er has a 3-1 record against Schiavone, beating her in all three hardcourt matches. But the two haven’t played each other in almost two years.
On the men’s circuit, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich came back from a set and 1-4 down to advance to the second round of the doubles tournament in Indian Wells on Sunday, beating David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (2), 6-4, 12- 10.
The Israeli duo, which won the tournament in Indian Wells in 2008, needed a wild card to get into the event this year and will play Mark Knowles and Michal Mertinak in the last 16.
Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters survived a second-set wobble and an erratic serving display to beat Italy’s Sara Errani 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in the third round on Sunday.
While the Belgian world no. 2 was unhappy with her overall display in a battling win, thirdseeded Russian Vera Zvonareva was upset 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 by Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in a marathon lasting just over three hours.
Cibulkova needed four match points to overcome the Russian for the first time in four meetings and will next meet 23rdseeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who beat 14th seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
In the men’s event, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick each launched their title bids in triumphant style.
Second seed Federer beat Russia’s Igor Andreev 7-5, 7- 6, third-seeded Serb Djokovic crushed Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev 6- 0, 6-4 and eighth seed Roddick overpowered fellow American James Blake 6-3, 7- 5 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Reuters contributed to this report.