Shahar Peer: Historic 2011, Rebound In 2012
Published December 23, 2011 12:00
TEL AVIV, Israel - There's no doubt Shahar Peer is one of the most talented and driven competitors around, and following a somewhat streaky 2011 she has been hitting the courts hard in the off-season, and is primed for a prime 2012.
Having put together her best ever season in 2010, finishing the year at No.13, Peer rode that momentum in early 2011, getting as high as No.11 in April - she was even one match victory away from cracking the Top 10 in Charleston. But some up-and-down results in the spring and summer followed by a back injury in the fall caused the Israeli trailblazer to slip to No.37 by the year-end rankings.
"I wouldn't say it was one of my best years," Peer said. "I started pretty well but didn't keep it going the rest of the year. And then I had a stress fracture in my back. I spent a month and a half in Israel and everything was going slowly at first, but things turned around when I went to Miami for my pre-season.
"I feel like I'm getting into what I want to do now. The main thing for me is to still be as solid as I can but get more aggressive. I'm trying to build on the basics.
"This pre-season is going even better than the one I did going into 2010, so right now I'm feeling very good and am excited to see what 2012 will bring."
Peer is coached by Harold Solomon, who has worked with some of the greats of the game - Mary Joe Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles, to name a few - and is a former great himself, reaching No.5 on the ATP in 1980.
"Harold is a really good coach and person. He makes me work very hard but it's all worth it, and the nice thing is we're good friends and can talk, too."
After spending some time in Miami, Peer headed back to Israel last Saturday. She will spend the week there before heading to Australia for the new season.
"I'm home for a week now and playing the Israeli Championships. It's only for Israeli ladies and I've played it every year since I was 14. I like it. It's obviously not a WTA tournament but I still get matches under my belt, and the final is usually the toughest one. It's fun to be home and play at home too - people come to watch and it's a nice atmosphere. I enjoy it every year."
If you're wondering how Peer will fare in her home nation's championships, you can find out right from the source. "I use Twitter and Facebook quite a lot. I really like them because I can see people responding to me, telling me what they like, and so on. It's nice people can see what we're doing on and off the court. It's a different kind of life and we can share what we're going through."