Israel’s Shahar Peer falls in Australian Open


MELBOURNE, Australia (JTA) — Shahar Peer, Israel’s top-ranked women’s tennis player, bowed out of the Australian Open in the third round.

Italy’s Flavia Pennetta staved off a match point in the second set in her 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Peer at Hisense Arena on Friday. Peer, seeded 10th, was up a break but could not close out the 22nd-seeded Pennetta in a match that took 2 hours, 25 minutes to complete.

Peer, who is ranked 12th in the world, had dropped her serve early in the second set before winning four consecutive matches to take a 4-2 lead.

Two days later Peer and partner, China’s Shuai Peng, fell in the third round of women’s doubles.

Other Israelis fared poorly, too.

Dudi Sela, the only Israeli male in the singles draw, was dispatched in the opening round by former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro. And the duo of Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich, who won the Australian Open in 2008, were knocked out of the men’s doubles in the second round.

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