Shahar Peer poor her poor early season behind her with a morale-boosting victory at the Australian Open.
The Israeli went into Tuesday’s first-round clash against Alexandra Panova knowing defeat would see her slip out of the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2005, but after coming through a marathon first set 6-4, she overcame the loss of the second set to the Russian to win 6-3 in the deciding set.
Peer will face Kimiko Date-Frumm in round two. The Japanese star progressed after surprising 14th seed Nadia Petrova of Russia.
There was also success for Israel in the Men’s singles where qualifier Amir Weintraub won a tight three-set match against Guido Pella of Argentina.
Playing in his first grand slam, Weintraub won the first set on a tie-break before taking the second set 7-5 after breaking serve. He romped home 6-2 in the third.
Davis Cup star Weintraub will play 17th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in the next round
But there was disappointment for Weintraub’s compatriot Dudi Sela who went down in four sets against Nikolay Davydenko. Sela won the first set 6-3, but the powerful Russian stepped up a gear in the second to win 1-6, 5-7, 3-6 and set up a clash against Roger Federer.
Jesse Levine moved into round two following a four-set thriller against Tommy Robredo. The Canadian progressed 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-4.
Levine will face 14th seed Gilles Simon in round two.
American Nick Russell bowed out in straight sets against Thomas Berdych.