Peer: I can win French Open

By Simon Griver, May 21, 2010

Shahar Peer believes that she can win the French Open, which begins in Paris on Monday.

Peer said: "I come to every tournament believing I can win it. In sport everything is possible. I am playing my most consistent ever tennis and I've reached the semi-finals of two really big tournaments this year in Spain and Dubai, but I'll need a bit of luck and a good draw."

Peer, 23, arrives at Roland Garros in confident mood after reaching the semi-finals of the Spanish Open where she beat the reigning French Open champion Svetlana Kuztnetsova - her fifth victory over a top 10 player this year.

The Israeli hopes to avoid Venus Williams until the latter stages. Williams, who beat Peer in the semi-final in Madrid, has also beaten her three other times.

Peer's performance in Madrid took her career earnings through the $3 million threshold, and lifted her to 19 in the rankings.

"I've improved my serve and my forehand strokes and I've become much more aggressive," she said. "Eventually, I believe I will find the formula to beat Venus Williams."

Peer's new policy of only playing in the world's biggest tournaments allowed her to arrive early in Paris for several days of intensive training. Having reached the semi-finals on clay in Madrid and Stuttgart, the surface at Roland Garros will be familiar.

Peer took part in the March of the Living in Poland last month together with her grandmother Yolina Eckstein, who survived Auschwitz. She said: "The experience has helped me get a lot into perspective, and I've no doubt it has given me an inner strength to see what my grandmother went through."

The French Open also offers an opportunity for Dudi Sela to revive a disappointing year. Ranked 58, he has failed to capture the form which saw him reach the fourth round in Wimbledon last year and rise to 29 in the rankings.

Last updated: 11:45am, May 21 2010