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Shahar Peer: Racket Sniper

The captain of the Israeli women's tennis team, Oded Yakov, has named the squad for the Federation Cup match against the Russian national team, which will take place on February 2-3, 2008 in Ramat Hasharon. Shahar Peer, Tzipora Obziler, Yulia Glushko and Keren Shlomo will play for the Israeli national team in this match. However, in fact it will be a team of one player, because Jacob's hope is connected with only one athlete - Shahar Peer, who currently occupies the first line in Israel's ranking.

20-year-old Peer is good at not only singles , she is still a good doubles player. At the Australian Open with Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, Shahar became the finalist of the current tournament, and the national team coach hopes that Shahar will bring three points to his native team - two alone and one in a pair, which will guarantee the Israelis the next round.

Unlike many athletes who represent Israel today, Peer is a native of the country. She was born in Jerusalem into an intelligent Jewish family, her mother is a physical education teacher, and her father is an engineer. Shahar's love for tennis was inherited from his older brother and sister. While they practiced on the court, little Peer crawled on the blanket next to the court. Shahar, according to her parents, started running earlier than walking. It was a hurricane child, recalls her mother. - She had so much energy that her speed of movement could not be controlled, all the toys in the house were broken.

The father lovingly called his daughter Yasser Arafat in a skirt, and when she was six years old, he gave her a racket. From that moment, the ascent of the future star began. The coaches immediately noticed the youthful talent that stood out in all aspects of the game. The results were not long in coming; at the age of 14, Shahar won the title of Israeli champion among adults, becoming the youngest winner of the national championship. I myself did not expect that my progress would be so rapid, says Shahar. - As a child, I really liked Monica Seles, many say that I look like her. Later - Jennifer Capriati. No, no, I didn't have a role model, I just loved tennis and played my favorite game. But I didn't immediately realize that I would link my life with her. I really liked to sing, and I even thought about becoming a singer, so I studied in a jazz club. But then I realized that there is nothing better than tennis, the only thing I regret is that they forbid me to eat my favorite chocolate yogurt, - Shahar complains.

Peer has a lot of admirers in his homeland. And when in 2005 the authorities drafted her to serve in the army, a real scandal almost broke out in the country. As you know, both men and women serve in the ranks of the armed forces in Israel. The specialists panicked, because in two years of service the girl's career could have been given up. However, the authorities turned out to be supportive of Peer and called her to serve as an excellent athlete, which gives her the opportunity to train, travel abroad and provides a variety ofprivileges. Nevertheless, this is still an army and no one was going to cancel the course of a young fighter. I was the best shot, I really liked it, - Shahar recalls. - They even wanted to send me to sniper courses, but this, unfortunately, did not coincide with my sports career.

Shahar admits that there are no authorities for her on the court: I am not afraid of anyone and always play to win , with any rival, - says the tennis player. - I try to demonstrate my tennis, which I am accustomed to, with exits to the net, with dribbling shots, with a strong serve. I feel more comfortable on a dirt surface. But all the same, of course, she must prove her level on faster courts.

The tennis player admits that she loves to travel very much, adores New York, is interested in the culture of the countries where tournaments are held, reads a lot. As for the relationship between colleagues, Shahar is sure that sociability does not depend on the place in the rating. For example, the Russian woman Elena Dementieva is very friendly, it is always pleasant to communicate with Natalie Deshi. But the most, the most sociable of all tennis players is Kim Clijsters. Previously, when I played in youth tournaments, I could walk by Kim and later say: “I saw Kim Clijsters”. But then, as a professional, while Kim performed, it was always pleasant to be with her, to talk. Kim always wished good morning, good luck for the game.

Shahar's cherished dream is to win the Roland Garros - this is the athlete's favorite tournament, well, this season, the dream, and therefore the goal, was also the conquest of the Olympic medals. As for the games in the Federation Cup, then, according to Peer, they cannot be compared with individual tournaments: Playing for the national team is always very exciting and enjoyable, our team was able to beat the stronger rated teams only because we fought and believed in ourselves before end. And after tough matches, a feeling of deep satisfaction came. When I compete in tournaments all over the world, I feel the strong support of the Israelis. Therefore, playing under the Israeli flag for the national team increases the motivation to fight and win. I feel that this is how I can thank all the fans who support me.

Shahar Peer (Israel)

Born on May 1, 1987 in Jerusalem (Israel ).

Lives in Makabim (Israel).

Height 170 cm, weight 60 kg.

Professional since 2004.

Highest career singles rating: 15 (January 29, 2007)

Highest career doubles rating: 16 (January 28, 2008)

Singles titles: 3 (Pattaya City, Prague, Istanbul 2006).

Doubles titles: 3 (Prague 2006 (with Bartoli), Stanford 2006 (with Gronefeld), Stanford 2007 (with Mirza)).

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