Peer makes history, reaches quarter finals

Sunday, January 21, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Israeli tennis phenomenon, Shahar Peer, upset third seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday, earning her way to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Peer is the first Israeli woman to reach the quarter-finals of a grand slam with a performance of great agility at the Vodafone Arena.

The Israeli teenager, ranked 17th in the world stunned Kuznetsova, ranked 4th in the world who steamrolled passed her other opponents. Kuznetsova was nervous from the beginning of the second set, allowing Peer to easily win the first three games.

The Russian won the next game, with the score 3-1, but Peer pressed on and advanced to 4-1, breaking Kuznetsova’s serve three times. Yet, Kuznetsova fought back winning the next game. As rain poured in the seventh game, Peer kept her head in the game, hammering away at the last two games, securing her a spot in the next round of the Australian Open. She defeated her opponent in one hour and 17 minutes.

This is Peer’s best career achievement to date and the first time she’s defeated one of the world’s best players. This triumph will likely earn her 15th in the world, making her the highest ranked Israeli tennis player.

“I've never beaten this kind of top 10 player before,” said Peer, already a semi-finalist on the Gold Coast this year. “I went to play my game today and I am very happy with the way I played. My serve was effective, I was aggressive and the rain delay did not affect me.”

Amos Mamonsdorf was the only other Israeli to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament, in the 1992 Australian Open.

Peer will play the winner of the fourth-round match between former champion Serena Williams of the US and Serbian Jelena Jankovic.

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