Shahar Shows Vintage Form

Shahar Peer posted her second consecutive straight set win at the Citi Open on Thursday to reach her first quarterfinal since March.

Published July 28, 2011 11:06

Shahar Shows Vintage Form
Shahar Peer

COLLEGE PARK, MD, USA - Shahar Peer is starting to look more like the player who reached a career-high ranking of No.11 in January and less like the player who had lost five straight matches coming into this event and whose ranking had sunk to No.24.

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The top-seeded Peer defeated Alla Kudryavtseva, 61 64, on Thursday at the Citi Open to earn her first quarterfinal berth since Indian Wells in March.

"It was a tough last few months for me," said Peer, who hired former ATP star Harold Solomon as her coach in April. "I didn't play very well but I really felt like every week was getting better. I changed a lot in my game. I played better today than two days ago. It's encouraging and I hope to go far this week. Basically the target is to be in the best shape for the US Open.

"Harold told me it's the best mental match he's seen me play since he started working with me. It's the old Shahar Peer. There were a few moments the match could have turned her way, but I hung in there, saved a few break points and eventually it came out my way."

Peer next plays Alberta Brianti in a rematch of the 2009 Guangzhou final won by Peer. The eighth-seeded Italian routed Varvara Lepchenko, 61 62, in her second round match. She is now 4-0 against the American.

Also Thursday, No.3 seed Tamira Paszek handled qualifier Madison Brengle, 63 61, without facing a break point. Paszek had not been as far as a quarterfinal since winning Québec City last September, but has now made two straight - Wimbledon and College Park.

"I turned pro young at age 14 and I was No.35 at age 16 and then I had bad luck with injuries," said the 42nd-ranked Paszek. "I'm trying to get back to where I was, and at the beginning of this year my goal was to reach the Top 50 and I've gotten there, so now my new goal is the Top 30. Every step is important."

In the quarters, Paszek will face Stéphanie Dubois, a 36 75 61 winner over Heather Watson. Dubois trailed 63 54 but lost only one more game the rest of the way in getting revenge for their only previous meeting when she managed only one game at an ITF Women's Circuit event in Nassau earlier this year.

"When you come to a tournament, you come to win. That's the goal," said Dubois, who is into a quarterfinal for only the second time in her career, having also gotten that far at Québec City in 2005. "You go match by match. The way I'm playing right now, my confidence is high. Everybody's beatable."

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