Pe'er steamrolled by Henin-Hardenne

Israeli teen loses fourth-round match in straight sets to world No. 2.

Shahar peer 298.88 (photo credit: )
Shahar peer 298.88
(photo credit: )
Shahar Pe'er was completely outclassed by world No. 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne in the fourth round of the US Open Monday evening. Pe'er (21) only won one game in the two sets of the match, losing in 50 minutes, 6-1, 6-0, to the Belgian. Despite being soundly defeated in her final singles match, the 19-year-old Israeli will look back fondly on the last week in Flushing Meadows. Pe'er reached the last 16 of the US Open for the first time in her career and will likely climb in the WTA Tour rankings to become one of the world's top 20 female tennis players. Henin-Hardenne, who is attempting to reach her fourth straight Grand Slam final, was nearly flawless, hitting 21 winners and committing only six unforced errors. "It was a very good match for me," Henin-Hardenne said. "I did a lot of serve and volleying today and that helped me to stay aggressive." Pe'er, on the other hand, had only five winners and a massive 20 unforced errors in the two sets. The 24-year-old Belgian got off to a flying start, winning 12 of the first 14 points of the match to take a 3-0 lead. After falling behind 5-0 in only 16 minutes, Pe'er finally won her one and only game of the match thanks to a good service game. Henin-Hardenne closed out the set in the following game, taking a meager 23 minutes to win 6-1. The Belgium hit a fantastic 80 percent of her first serves in during the set and only had three unforced errors, while Pe'er only got 63% of her first serves in and never troubled the Belgium in her own service games. Henin-Hardenne broke in the first game of the second set after Pe'er fought her way back to deuce from 0-40. After holding in the next game, the world No. 2 broke the Israeli's serve once again in a tough game to take a 3-0 lead. Pe'er won her last points of the match in that game as Henin-Hardenne won the following 12 points unanswered and wrapping up the set 6-0. Henin-Hardenne, with five major titles on her resume including this year's French Open, is bidding to make her fourth straight Grand Slam final. She will face either Lindsay Davenport or Patty Schnyder in the quarterfinals. "I walked on the court thinking that it could be a dangerous match because she's a young player and she has a lot of motivation," the Belgian said. "That's probably why I won it pretty easily, because I was ready for it." Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich were in action later Monday in the third round of the men's doubles against the French duo of Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra. The seventh seeded Israelis reached the third round after defeating Jeff Coetzee of South Africa and Rogier Wassen of the Netherlands 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 on Sunday. Pe'er was also in action in the women's doubles on Sunday, losing with partner Marion Bartoli to the Japanese pair of Shinobu Asagoe and Akiko Morigami 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4. The 14th seeded Israeli/French duo served twice for the match in the second set and also had three set points in the tiebreak. However, the pair squandered all their chances and eventually lost the match in three sets. Jankovic reaches firstmajor quarterfinals Serbia's Jelena Jankovic ousted 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinals. Jankovic dropped her serve to start the second set then broke sixth-seeded Kuznetsova twice in that set and twice more in the final set to win her first match with the Russian. The Serb, seeded 19th, served out from 0-40 down in the final game and clinched a quarterfinal against fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva, who lost to Kuznetsova in the 2004 all-Russian women's final. Monday's match was the third time in four matches she's come back from losing the opening set. Also Monday, the 2004 runner-up, Elena Dementieva, reached the quarterfinals this year by eliminating Aravane Rezai of France 7-5, 6-4. AP contributed to this report.