Shahar scaling up the WTA’s ranks

Pe’er advances to China Open quarters; Andy, Yoni back to winning ways together.

Shahar Peer tennis Italian open 311 (photo credit: BSL)
Shahar Peer tennis Italian open 311
(photo credit: BSL)
After five months of mainly mediocre results, Shahar Pe’er finally seems to be regaining her early season form, advancing to the quarterfinals of the China Open in Beijing on Wednesday to edge ever closer to a career best ranking.
Pe’er cruised past Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski in the third round, winning 6-1, 6-2 in just 59 minutes.
The 23-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 18 in the world and seeded No.15 in Beijing, will face Timea Bacsinszky (47) in the last eight on Friday after the Swiss youngster beat Elena Vesnina (63) 6-2, 6-3.
The 250 ranking points already picked up by Pe’er are set to see her improve her career best ranking of No. 14 next week, as long as Nadia Petrova doesn’t go on to win the China Open.
“I’m very happy. I was playing very well today, very aggressively,” said Pe’er, who beat Bacsinszky in the first round in Tokyo just last week. “I hope to keep going and play better and better every round this week.
“I came here pretty late after Tokyo and I didn’t start too well against Patty Schnyder in my last match. But I played well the rest of the match, and I did that through the whole match today.
“I’m just playing solid and aggressive at the same time on every point.”
Meanwhile, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich progressed to the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament in Beijing on Wednesday, winning their first match together on the ATP Tour since last October.
Ram and Erlich, who teamedup to win the doubles match in Israel’s Davis Cup World Group playoff encounter against Austria two weeks ago, beat Lukas Dlouhy and Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-7 (5), 6-4, 10-6 and will face No.
1 seeds Bob and Mike Bryan in the last eight on Thursday.
Also Wednesday, defending champion Novak Djokovic and fourth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko moved into the quarterfinals of the China Open, while Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark moved to within one win of the No. 1 ranking.
Wozniacki’s textbook 6-4, 6-2 win over Italy’s Sara Errani means that if she beats Petra Kvitova in the third round on Thursday, she will replace Serena Williams as the top-ranked player.
Top-seeded Djokovic profited when American Mardy Fish withdrew from their scheduled night match with an injury to his left ankle.
But Fish’s fellow American John Isner went through, winning 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3 against German Philipp Kohlschreiber in a tight match that saw a combined 33 aces from the two big serving players.
Isner will face Davydenko after the Russian became the eighth active player to win 400 matches following a 7-5, 7-5 victory against big-serving Croat Marin Cilic, who fired five aces but could only save three of seven break points.
Elsewhere in the women’s tournament, second-seeded Vera Zvonereva came from behind against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko to book her quarterfinal place.
After giving up the first set, Zvonereva ratcheted up her serve, firing five aces to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Francesca Schiavone of Italy battled to a three-set victory over Vera Dushevina, seeing off the Russian 4-6, 6- 3, 6-1.
AP contributed to this report.