Tears for Peer after US Open loss
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Tears for Peer after US Open loss

The Israeli 18th seed says, "I think it's just a matter of time when I will get there since I'm improving things and in this tournament I was playing really good."

india Updated: Sep 06, 2007 17:51 IST

Shahar Peer's US Open ended in tears instead of triumph, but the Israeli 18th seed is confident a top-10 breakthrough and Grand Slam success is on the way.

Peer, who will complete her mandatory two-year Israeli military service next month, saw her bid to become Israel's first Grand Slam semifinalist end in failure when Russian sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze beat her 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday.

Oded Teig, Peer's coach, consoled his sobbing pupil after the loss, reminding Peer how she matched her best Grand Slam showing from this year's Australian Open despite struggles with injury and recent losses.

"I was pissed and everything and I was crying and he said, 'Look at the positive things. You had the worst two months in your career, which is not a long one. You played so bad and you come to a Grand Slam and you make the quarterfinals.'

"Of course you could win and you had a good opportunity, but I have to look at the positive time and take those things. That's what's going to help my career."

With a victory, Peer, 20, would have risen to 13th in the WTA rankings, the highest spot for any Israeli man or woman. But she is confident a jump into the top 10 is coming soon.

"I think it's just a matter of time when I will get there because I'm improving things, and in this tournament I was playing really good," Peer said.

"I came to this tournament injured. My joints between my ribs were inflamed and I didn't play for five days so actually it was kind of strange I was doing so well here. I didn't know if I was going on the court for my first match."

She is going back to Israel and finish the final weeks of military service.

"For me it was really important to give as much as I can to the country because I get so much support," Peer said. "It's not that it hurts my career, so I was happy to go to the Army."

She spends most of her Army time on secretarial duties, having only handled a weapon in basic training when she slept among 17 girls in a tent.

"When I go there they give me different jobs. Whatever they have on the certain day to ask me to do, I'm doing," she said.

"The basic training gave me a different perspective on what they do. We learned how to shoot. I guess that was the best part. It was a lot of fun."

"I'm not doing the job where I should carry the weapon with me."

Racquet rivals across the net might disagree.

First Published: Sep 06, 2007 17:41 IST