Tennis: Pe'er knocked out in Pattaya semifinals

21-year-old Israeli loses 1-6, 4-6 against world number 5 Vera Zvonareva.

shahar peer tennis 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
shahar peer tennis 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Shahar Pe'er's run at the Pattaya Open in Thailand was cut short on Saturday by world number 5 Vera Zvonareva. The 21-year-old Israeli never found her footing against the Russian, losing 1-6, 4-6 in the semifinals and falling to 0-5 in her career against Zvonareva. "I didn't start well and I played too defensively," said Pe'er. "In the second set I did better and had chances to come back. In matches of this level, you only have a few chances, and I didn't take them. She did. I have to learn from this match." Despite the defeat, Pe'er will be pleased with her performance in Thailand this week. Pe'er reached a first WTA tour semifinal in almost a year and maintaining her perfect record against inferiorly ranked player in 2009. Zvonareva raced to a 5-0 lead at the start of the match and won the opening set in just 25 minutes. In the second set, Pe'er remained in touch for the first six games, but Zvonareva broke the Israeli in the seventh game and never looked back on her way to the final in which she plays Sania Mirza. "I think it was a good match for me. I lifted my level of play compared to my previous matches here," Zvonareva said. "I'm very happy with the way I performed, especially playing a very clean first set. In the second set I made a few unforced errors, but was able to come up with good shots when I really needed them." This week Pe'er is set to become the first Israeli to play in Dubai. Pe'er was drawn to face Anna Chakvetadze in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Late Saturday, Andy Ram and Julian Knowle faced Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes in the semifinals of the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam.