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Old May 31st, 2006, 03:45 AM   #14
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Article in haaretz (in english)

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/721491.html

Tennis / Peer coasts into second round in Paris

By Rami Hipsh

When Shahar Peer won the Istanbul Cup last week, some commentators feared she might repeat her downfall in the Rome Masters, where she lost in the first round after having won the Prague tournament just a few days earlier, when she took the courts at the outset of this week's French Open.

Peer dispeled those fears yesterday when she brushed aside Ukrainian Olga Savchuk 6-1, 6-1 in just 42 minutes in her first-round match.

"Shahar was outstanding throughout," said Peer's coach, Oded Ya'akov. "She was very aggressive, and didn't let her opponent into the game."

Savchuk, ranked 104 in the world, could not handle the 19-year-old Israeli's serve, and made 30 unforced errors as the 26th-ranked Peer broke serve six times for the easy win.

"Everything I did today worked out perfectly," Peer said after setting up a second-round encounter against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova, who notched a decisive 6-3, 6-2 win over Maria Sanchez Lorenzo of Spain. .

Ya'akov, who will part ways with Peer after the French Open despite her meteorical rise in the world rankings, said her mental preparation for the game had been superior to her opponent's.

"The previous game on the court took much longer than expected, but, unlike the Ukrainian, Shahar knew how to prepare herself and handle the wait. Her mental preparations helped her get into the match," Ya'akov said.

Despite the chilly weather in Paris yesterday, some 600 fans turned out on court 17 yesterday, with dozens of members of the local Jewish community vocally supporting Peer. "A lot of fans turned out to watch Shahar play and that was great for her," Ya'akov said. "It really helps her to have Israeli flags in the stands."

Pironkova is ranked 86 in the world, but the Bulgarian teenager beat the Israeli in their previous two encounters, once on the junior circuit and again on the senior circuit.
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