Pe'er steams into Istanbul semis

Teen records straight-set wins; Savransky wins French Open qualifier.

peer 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
peer 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er remained on course for her best month yet on the WTA Tour with a pair of quarterfinal wins at the Istanbul Cup on Thursday. Pe'er, ranked 33rd in the world and seeded fourth, overcame seventh seed Mara Santangelo (37) of Italy 6-1, 6-2 in the singles event and teamed with Janette Husarova of Slovakia to beat Polish sisters Urszula and Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 7-5 in the doubles. The road to the singles final will pit Pe'er against the No. 2 seed, German Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who bested Karolina Sprem of Croatia 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. In doubles, Pe'er and Husarova take on Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko and Anastasia Yakimova of Belarus. Wins would put Pe'er in tournament finals for the second time in three weeks. She swept the singles and doubles titles at the Prague Open on May 14. Earlier Thursday, it became clear that one of Pe'er's Fed Cup teammates, Yevgenia Savransky, could join her in the French Open. Pe'er, who will be seeded at next week's Grand Slam, and Anna Smashnova (50) are both entered in the main draw, as are men's doubles players Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich. Harel Levy and Dudi Sela saw their qualifying hopes dashed Thursday, as did Noam Okun and Tzipi Obziler the day before. Levy (234) went out 7-5, 7-6(4) to Colombian Alejandro Falla (138), who is seeded 21st in qualifying, while Sela (163) fell 7-6(2), 7-6(7) to Julio Silva (212) of Brazil. Savransky (241), a late entry to the qualifying as an alternate, defeated British hope Elena Baltacha 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-2 Thursday in the first of three qualifying rounds. Although Savransky began play late Wednesday before rain postponed the match, the organizing committee took so long to update the draw that even the BBC Web site posted a story that Baltacha (208) had lost to the original opponent, Wen-Hsin Hsu, hours after the match was completed. Savransky will next face Milagros Sequera (136) of Venezuela early Friday morning.