Tennis: Shahar Pe'er eases into round two

Israel's No. 1 beats Thailand's Tanasugarn 7-5, 6-2; Israel's No. 2 Obziler tied one set all when her match with Krajicek (45) was stopped due to bad light.

peer in wimbledon 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
peer in wimbledon 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er advanced to the second round of Wimbledon for a third straight year on Monday, defeating Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn 7-5, 6-2. The 16th seeded Israeli will next face Estonian Kaia Kanepi (58) and will be looking to progress past the second round at the All England Club for the first time in her career. Pe'er easily defeated Kanepi in the first round of the French Open less than four weeks ago and will be favored to get the better of the Estonian in a Grand Slam event for a second time in a month. Pe'er was on her back foot for most of the first set against Tanasugarn (55), saving two set points in the 10th game of the set. The 20-year-old Israeli went on to win nine of the next 11 games, completing the victory in 86 minutes. "The match was very difficult, just as I expected it would be," Pe'er said. "She played well throughout the first set and she had the momentum after I squandered a few break points. "However, I retained my composure and took my chances and won the set. I got off to a good start in the second set and closed out the match well." She added: "The second round match against Kanepi will be very tricky. It will be tougher than Roland Garros because her good serving will be far more significant. I'll have to hit good returns and remain composed throughout the match." Pe'er claimed the first game of Monday's match with an ace, but despite reaching a break point in the fourth game of the first set, was unable to break her opponents serve. In the following game Tanasugarn broke the Israeli with her first break point, hitting an unstoppable forehand winner at the end of a good rally. Both players easily held serve in the subsequent two games, but in the eighth game Pe'er had a golden opportunity to break back. The Israeli, who had 18 unforced errors throughout the match, reached three break points, but squandered every one of them, allowing Tanasugarn to open a 5-3 lead. After Pe'er held serve in the next game, Tanasugarn opened a 40-15 lead in the 10th game and was seemingly on her way to clinching the first set. However, the Israeli reeled off four straight points, breaking her opponent for the first time in the match. Pe'er claimed the following game with an exquisite cross court forehand and clinched the set in the 12th game after Tanasugarn double faulted on Pe'er's third set point. The Israeli, who got 77 percent of her first serves in, surged ahead at the start of the second set, winning 12 of the first 13 points to open a 3-0 lead. Tanasugarn took the next two games to come within one game of the Pe'er, but another double fault by the Thai in the sixth game gave the Israeli a one break advantage once more (4-2). Pe'er would remain in control for the remainder of the match and quickly won the next two games to book her place in the second round. Tzipi Obziler's match with 18-year-old Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek (45) was stopped at 1-1 on Sunday night due to bad light. The 34-year-old Israeli struggled throughout the first set, losing 6-2. Obziler saved one match point in the second set and went on to tie the match, winning a tiebreak 8-6. Obziler (81) got off to a slow start and Krajicek opened a 5-1 lead, breaking the Israeli twice. The Israeli managed to delay the inevitable by holding serve in the following game, but the Dutchwoman continued to serve well and wrapped up the first set in 32 minutes. A massive 16 unforced errors by Obziler in the first set were far more than she could afford, but in the second set the Israeli would show a vast improvement. Krajicek broke in the first game of the second set, but Obziler answered back immediately and took a 2-1 lead with a forehand winner. Both players continued to hold their serve for the remainder of the set, meaning it had to be determined on a tiebreak. Krajicek opened a 2-0 lead and stayed ahead for most of the breaker and even reached one match point, leading 6-5. However, Obziler saved the match point with a forehand winner and clinched the set with a sensational backhand.