A new Haaretz article about Shahar's match against Peng
Tennis / Peer edged out by powerful Peng
By Ori Lewis
Ram and Erlich cruise in doubles
WIMBLEDON - Shahar Peer's admission that grass is not her favorite surface was very much in evidence during her 4-6, 6-7 second-round loss to Shuai Peng of China yesterday.
Peer came off second best against the powerful Chinese player in a tough battle lasting an hour and 41 minutes on a perfect English summer day.
It was a far cry from a match that tennis purists would describe as a good grasscourt encounter, as both players slugged it out from the baseline throughout.
Peng and Peer matched each other shot for shot, but the Chinese player had the advantage of the killer punch in the big points.
Peer, for her part, was unable to make use of her serve to any significant degree, and if she chooses to draw any conclusions from this experience, she will realize that to be a Wimbledon singles champion, she will have to improve her serve so that she can finish points quickly and effectively at the net.
Staying at the baseline is simply not an option in modern women's tennis, and the baseline game is best left for clay courts, where the ball rises to a comfortable height, or hard courts, where the bounce is even and the footing is sure.
For her part, Peng, ranked at 46 in the world and her country's No. 3 player, packs a mighty punch in a strapping build, and might be a contender for a place on the Chinese Olympic weightlifting team in Beijing in two years' time.
"I am really disappointed... I didn't take my chances and I hate to lose," Peer said, adding: "I thought I could keep my Wimbledon run going, but it ended today... I will have to look for the good things. I can play on grass, I know I can; so perhaps next year it will be better."
Peer lost her serve three times in the first set, most crucially, to lose the set at 4-5 down, as Peng plugged away with penetrating baseline shots.
The second set started well for Peer, as she opened up a 3-1 lead, but invariably her weak serve played its part, and Peng got back on level terms.
The two fought out the rest of the set until the tie-break, when Peng took a 5-0 lead. But this was the spur for Peer to wake up and fight back. She still fell short, however, and succumbed 7-5 with the appreciative Court 13 crowd giving both players a warm round of applause for a good gladiatorial contest that ended with a deserving winner and a disappointed loser.
Jerrold Kessel adds: Meanwhile, Israel's doubles combo Yoni Erlich and Andy Ram fully justified their fifth-seeding with a thoroughly convincing straight sets 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over the Czech duo of Jiri Vanek and Ivo Minar.