Israel’s top-ranked women’s tennis player, Shahar Peer, started her latest quest for a Women’s Tennis Association title on the right foot Sunday with a relatively easy first-round victory in the French Open, 6-2, 6-2 over Stephanie Dubois of Canada.
So far, this has been a disappointing year for Peer. She opened the year ranked 37th in the world, but has since dropped to number 55. In 14 tournaments this year, she won only 12 of her 26 matches, going past the second round only twice. Her best showing came at the beginning of the year at the Hobart International tournament in Australia, where she lost in the semifinals to Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.
In January 2011, she peaked with a career-best world ranking of 11 — the highest ranking ever achieved by an Israeli singles tennis player, female or male.
Peer’s second-round opponent in the French Open will be 13th-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, who breezed through her first round with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino. Peer has won all three previous meetings between the two.
Peer, 25, was born in Jerusalem and currently resides in the central Israel town of Maccabim.
Israeli men’s player Dudi Sela, meanwhile, lost his French Open first-round match 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 to Czech player Tomas Berdych, Israel Radio reported. Berdych is the 7th seed in the French Open and is currently ranked 7th in the world.