Shahar can’t crack Azarenka

Shahar Pe’er’s first encounter with a top-10 player in 2011 ends in disappointment.

SHAHAR PE’ER 311 (photo credit: AP)
(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe’er’s first encounter with a top-10 player in 2011 ended in disappointment on Tuesday, with Israel’s new world No. 12 falling 7-5, 6-3 to Victoria Azarenka (10) in the second round of the Sydney International.
Pe’er, who also lost in the second round in Brisbane last week, struggled desperately with her serve on Tuesday, winning just 37 percent of her total service points and being broken eight times in the two hour and three minute match.
Despite the defeat, Pe’er remains in a confident mood ahead of her next tournament, the Australian Open in Melbourne, which gets underway next Monday.
“I’m really proud of myself,” said Pe’er of climbing one place to a new careerbest ranking on Monday. “I hope to keep going farther and farther, and raise the record higher.”
With Australian Open defending champion Serena Williams to lose a large amount of ranking points as she will not be able to defend her title due to injury and the retired Elena Dementieva to eventually start dipping down the rankings, Pe’er has a superb chance to break into the top- 10 in the coming weeks.
“I need to keep working hard,” the 23-year-old commented.
“I’m playing well and I need to keep doing what I’m doing, and also keep enjoying the process.
Meanwhile, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich are still looking for their first win of the year after losing 7-5, 6-0 to Igor Andreev and Dmitry Tursunov in the first round of the doubles tournament in Sydney.
Ram and Erlich also lost in the first round in Brisbane last week and are entering the Aussie Open in far from ideal form.
There was some good news for Israeli tennis on Tuesday, with Julia Glushko (233) and Amir Weintraub (270) getting a place in the Australian Open qualifiers after several players pulled out through injury.