IT’S NOT often one’s able to get a smile out of Shahar Peer. So the fact that there was one along with her agreeing to a post-match interview following another early Wimbledon exit speaks volumes for the new-look reformed character. Putting things into perspective – and let’s not forget but for a few inches either side of the tramlines, she really could have given Caroline Wozniacki a run for her money – she was thoughtful and pensive, considerate and reflective, and even philosophical in her outlook. Putting this new attitude down to her maturing as a person, never mind as a player, her main target, given the fact that she has fallen from a near top-ten ranking, isn’t to make sure she stays in the top-100, but to merely be happy with herself. Winning or losing doesn’t mean as much to her anymore, there’s more to her life than just the tennis court. Having seriously considered retiring from the game last year, she’s now found a fresh approach to the game, and while it may not be as intense as it once was, it’s more relaxed and stress-free. And judging by her new happiness – and her first set display against the Dane, who knows, it could see her come again and threaten to become a force in the game once more.
IT HASN’T been the best of championships for Israel’s players, though like Peer, Dudi Sela was also able to take his loss with a pinch of salt. While extremely disappointed to lose, especially as he was handed a favourable draw – at least until round three and a meeting with Rafael Nadal, every cloud has a silver lining, and on this occasion it was that he could go back to Israel following his defeat this past Tuesday, to prepare for his wedding next Tuesday. Just as well that his wife-to-be probably won’t be reading this as he said: “She would have killed me if I was in the quarter-finals, but it would have been a good excuse not to go to the wedding!”