Tennis: Pe'er cruises to 2nd round; Obziler to face Safina

Obziler claims victory over Hungarian Melinda Czink, advancing to second round for first time in her career.

tzipi obziler 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
tzipi obziler 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel's Shahar Pe'er, ranked 15th in the world, advanced to the second round of the French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on Wednesday, easily beating Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-1, 6-3. Pe'er will face Edina Gallovits of Romania (106 in the world) in the second round. On Tuesday, Israel's second ranked player Tzipi Obziler also advanced to the second round for the first time in her career by claiming the single game she needed to complete a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Hungarian Melinda Czink. The Israeli, who as a result will climb approximately 20 places from her current WTA Tour ranking of 95, was leading 6-3, 5-4 and preparing to serve for the match before rain suspended play on Monday evening. Obziler only needed three minutes on Tuesday to book a second-round meeting against world No. 11 Dinara Safina, but did have to save one break point before clinching the win against Czink (123) on her second match point. The 34-year-old Obziler had only reached the second round of a Grand Slam tournament three times prior to Tuesday and will be looking to reach the third round for the first time ever with a win against Safina. In what may have been the last match of her career, Anna Smashnova (135) lost to Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives (267) 6-2, 7-5 in the first round. Smashnova, 30, who might play one last time at Wimbledon before retiring, was only playing her second match of the year and the first since January. Vives, who was ranked as high as No. 35 in the world in June 2005, broke Smashnova twice in the first set and clinched the set with a successful service game. The Spaniard broke once more in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead, but four straight games for Smashnova gave her a promising advantage. However, the Israeli failed to serve out the set in the ninth game and Vives reeled off five straight games to book her place in the second round.