Pe’er, Weintraub both bow out in 2nd round

No Israelis left in singles draw, Erlich still alive in doubles; Federer, Serena march on.

Shahar Pe'er loses in Austrailian Open 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Shahar Pe'er loses in Austrailian Open 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After claiming her first win in six months, Shahar Pe’er returned to losing ways in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday, while Amir Weintraub’s Cinderella run also came to an end in Melbourne.
Pe’er, ranked No. 90 in the world, advanced to the second round after beginning the new season with consecutive defeats to players ranked outside the top 100, coming on the back of six straight losses to end 2012.
She failed to record consecutive victories for the first time since last February on Thursday, falling 6-2, 7-5 to 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm (100) of Japan.
After five consecutive breaks of serve to start the match, Date-Krumm finally held her serve to take a 4-2 lead and went on to open a 3-0 advantage in the second set, claiming seven straight games.
Pe’er fought back to take a 4-3 lead, but Date-Krumm held her nerve the better of the two players in the closing stages of the second set to clinch her progress.
Weintraub (196), who won his first ever match in the main draw of a Grand Slam event in the opening round after coming through the qualifiers, dropped to a 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-4 loss to No.
17 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.
After losing the first set in 22 minutes, Weintraub reached a set point in the 12th game of the second set, but failed to convert it and was eventually sent packing in straight sets.
Despite the defeat, Weintraub is expected to climb around 20 places when the new world rankings are released. He also amassed nearly $48,000 in prize money, almost equal to a third of his earnings throughout his career until last week.
There was some good news for Israeli tennis on Thursday, with Yoni Erlich progressing to the second round of the doubles tournament.
Erlich and partner Kevin Anderson, who is teaming up with the Israeli due to Andy Ram’s injury absence, stunned defending champions and No.
2 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 7-5.
The Israeli/South African duo will next play Australians Matthew Barton and John Millman.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer and Serena Williams showed there was plenty of life left in their relatively old legs by easing into the third round of the Australian Open on a day when sweltering heat tested the stamina of thirtysomething and teenager alike.
Sunscreen and icepacks were the order of the day on Thursday as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius in the late afternoon but 31-year-old Federer was coolness personified in the early evening as he dismissed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Third seed Williams, also 31, kept her time on court to a minimum as she swept aside Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 before Andy Murray, her counterpart in the men’s draw, clinically dispatched Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.
Women’s defending champion and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, 23, proceeded easily enough in the relative cool of the morning with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Greek Eleni Daniilidou.
Any hopes the Belarussian had that Williams, against whom she has a 1-11 record, might be hampered by the ankle she injured on Tuesday were quickly dashed in the next match on Rod Laver Arena, however.
The American, odds-on favorite to de-throne Azarenka and capture a 16th Grand Slam title next week, gave herself a fat lip with her own racket during the first set but was barely troubled otherwise.
Federer, chasing an 18th major title, will next face 20- year-old Bernard Tomic.
Laura Robson was one of 11 teenagers to reach the women’s second round and she became the third to progress when she beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 well past midnight, giving Britain two female players in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since 1991.
Reuters contributed to this report