Australian Open is a win-win

By Simon Griver, January 13, 2011

Shahar Peer will achieve her dream of a top 10 ranking after the Australian Open, providing she can avoid a disastrous early exit in the first grand slam tournament of the year.

The Israeli was boosted earlier this week when she rose to a career high ranking of 12, the highest placing ever of any Israeli tennis player.

With defending champion Serena Williams out injured and Russia's Elena Dementieva having retired, Peer will climb at least two more places in the WTA rankings if she equals last year's performance in Melbourne, where she was beaten in the third round by Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.

A likely seeding of 10 in Melbourne will ensure Peer will avoid tough draws in the earlier rounds. Earlier this week, Peer bowed out in straight sets against world No. 10 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at the Sydney Medibank International.

The Australian Open will be an opportunity for Dudi Sela to revive his fast fading fortunes. After slipping down 20 places in the ATP rankings to 95 with a first round exit in Brisbane last week.

Progress to round three will lift Peer to No. 10

Sela failed to get past the first qualifying round in Sydney, going down to Portugal's Frederico Gil (102). The only consolation is that Sela still qualifies for the main draw in Melbourne.

Amir Weintraub (270) was looking to come through the qualifiers. His new record high ranking of 270 enabled him to compete in his first ever grand slam preliminaries. Weintraub, 24, was given a further boost when it was confirmed that he will represent Israel in the Davis Cup tie against Poland in March.

Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, now back together again, will be hoping to repeat their finest hour when they won their only grand slam tournament at the Australian Open in 2008.

Last updated: 2:28pm, January 13 2011