Sunday, September 2, 2007

Israel has arrived big time in this year's U.S. Open Tennis championships.
Shahar Peer may well go all the way!!
And she's a member of the IDF!!!
By Jason Brown
Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sometimes great defense beats a great offense.
5701 miles from New York City, at 2 a.m. local time in the capital city of Jerusalem, a proud nation watched one of their own reach a significant milestone, as Peer became the first player from Israel to advance to the Round of 16 of the US Open.

Making her debut under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium, the 18th-seeded Peer withstood the challenge of Czech star Nicole Vaidisova, winning a marathon three-set classic, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5).

An evenly-matched contest featuring two of tennis’s rising young stars marked the first evening women’s match in six days to go three sets.

A back and forth contest that lasted 2 hours and 32 minutes, Vaidisova struck 39 winners past Peer, but was ultimately undone by 56 unforced errors, including an errant stroke into the net on match point.

Peer began playing tennis as a six-year-old growing up in Macabim and began her Israeli Army military training in November 2005.

With countrywoman Tzipora Obziller, Peer is one of two Israeli women ranked in the Top 100, and the only remaining in the draw.

Three players from Israel are entered in the 2007 US Open main singles draw – Peer, 97th ranked Obziller, and 118th-ranked men’s player Dudi Sela.

Jonathan Erlich, Harel Levy, and Andy Ram are competing in the men’s doubles draw, while countryman Noam Okun was a men’s singles qualifier.

View Israel’s 8 participants using the Continental Country Scoreboard.

Working on a career-best result at the US Open – Peer reached the fourth round in 2006 and the third round in 2005 – the 20-year-old will meet No. 30 seed Agnieskza Radwanska with a berth in the quarterfinals at stake.

Radwanksa, an 18-year-old from Krakow, Poland, stunned defending champion Maria Sharapova earlier in the day, breaking the bottom half of the women’s draw wide open.

The winner of Peer-Radwanksa will play either sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze or 43rd-ranked Tamira Paszek in the quarterfinals.
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