Tennis: Pe’er crumbles at Qatar Open

Coming off of a stunning upset of world No. 13 Jelena Jankovic Wednesday, Shahar Peer squandered a comfortable early lead.

AN EXHAUSTED Shahar Pe’er 390 (photo credit: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
AN EXHAUSTED Shahar Pe’er 390
(photo credit: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
Shahar Pe’er was brought back down to earth in heartbreaking fashion on Thursday, leading by a set and a break only to eventually fall to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 defeat to American Christina McHale in the third round of the Qatar Open.
The 24-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 37 in the world, advanced to the last 16 with her biggest win of the year so far, beating world No. 13 Jelena Jankovic on Wednesday.
Pe’er seemed well on course to reach the quarterfinals after taking the first set against McHale (38) and breaking the American to lead 3-2 in the second.
The Israeli was dominating McHale’s serve and holding her games with ease for the first set-and-a-half, but the American broke Pe’er right back to tie the score before taking eight consecutive points to open a 5-3 lead.
The momentum was now well and truly on McHale’s side and the 19-year-old completed a run of eight straight games to open a 4-0 lead in the third set from which Pe’er could not come back.
Dudi Sela was knocked out in the first round in San Jose on Wednesday, losing 6-7 (7), 6-2, 7-6 (1) to Australian Matthew Ebden.