Top-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel stroked her way to an easy second-round tennis victory on Thursday at the Citi Open in Washington DC.
Peer steamrolled her way to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over 23-year-old Russian Alla Kudryavtseva at the Tennis Center in College Park.
The victory is an upshot in a difficult season for Peer. Things started well when she reached No. 11 in the world — her highest ranking ever — when she won three consecutive three-set matches to advance to the quarterfinals at Indian Wells in March, earning a $64,700 payday, her largest this year.
But as the circuit moved to clay and grass courts for the French Open and then Wimbledon, Peer struggled, winning just three matches in seven tournaments. She had lost in the first round of four consecutive tournaments entering this week and her ranking dropped to No. 24.
“It was a tough last few months for me and I didn’t play very well, but I really felt like every week is getting better,” Peer said.
“I changed a lot of things in my game. At least in practice, it is looking better and also in matches these last two matches. I played better today than in the last match, so it’s encouraging," she added optimistically.
Among Peer’s changes are a new coach, Washington native Harold Solomon; a new fitness coach; a much improved serve; and a better diet. She says she is pleased with how things have worked so far this week.
Peer will play eighth-seeded Alberta Brianti, a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Varvara Lepchenko, in Friday’s quarterfinals.