Peer aims for top 10 finish at Wimbledon

By Simon Griver, June 17, 2010
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In-form Shahar Peer goes into Wimbledon knowing that a good performance could take her into the world's top 10 for the first time.

Ranked at a career high of 14, Peer had the worst possible preparation for next week's grand slam when she tumbled out in the first round at the ATP AEGON tournament at Eastbourne to China's Zheng Jie (26).

This was Peer's first defeat in the opening round of a competition this year.

Describing grass as her least favourite surface, the 13th seed believes she can beat her previous best Wimbledon performance two years ago when she reached the fourth round.

"I feel I can beat anyone, including the Williams sisters," said Peer. "There is much more aggression and strength in my game this year, both physical and emotional. I have only just turned 23 so I'm confident that I will reach the top 10."

Eastbourne aside, Peer is having her best-ever season, having reached the semi-finals of Dubai and the Spanish Open but despite her declarations she is eager to avoid the Williams sisters who have beaten her six times this year.

Dudi Sela will be looking to repeat his heroics of last year when he beat Tommy Robredo before falling to Novak Djokovic in the fourth round - his best grand slam performance.

Ranked 60, Sela has experienced poor form this year but last week showed the kind of prowess which took him to a ranking of 29 in 2009.

He beat world No. 7 Andy Roddick at Queens 6-4, 7-6 with some stunning baseline play. Sela was beaten by German veteran Rainer Schuettler in the quarter finals.

This week Sela reached the second round at Eastbourne after Kevin Anderson retired hurt in the first round with the match tied at one set each.

Peer and Sela will be the only Israelis in the main draw of the Wimbledon singles tournament. Noam Okun (362) lost 7-6, 6-2 to Italy's Ricardo Ghedin in the first round of the qualifying tournament at Roehampton, while Harel Levy (138) stayed home in Israel because his wife is about to give birth.

Jonathan Erlich warmed up for the men's doubles competition by winning the AEGON Championships title at Queen's with Serbian ace Djokovic.

Erlich, who is set to partner another Serb - Janko Tipsarevich at SW19 - clinched his 14th career title. Andy Ram and Julian Knowle are seeded
seventh.

    Last updated: 9:30am, June 18 2010