ONE OF Israel’s most successful ever sporting stars this week announced she considered calling it a day – and may still do so by the end of the year. Tennis player Shahar Peer is only 26, not exactly an age which is the twilight of a sportsperson’s career, but such was the misery and unhappiness the sport was giving her, she had reached an all-time low when she thought enough was enough. As little as two years ago she was ranked at number 11 in the world – making her Israel’s highest-ever ranked player – while earlier on in her career she reached the quarter-finals of both the Australian and US Open. More recently, June in fact, she found herself ranked at number 179 in the world and missed out on Wimbledon after losing out in the qualifiers. Enough to make anyone have second thoughts, she described herself as being in “a very low place”, and how she “couldn’t deal with the tennis life anymore,” which I guess also explains her no-show when I requested an interview with her at SW19. The only positive to take is that she revealed her innermost feelings after winning her first title in nearly four years. Whether that’s enough to pep her up, and push her on to further success remains to be seen. Hopefully for her and Israeli sport, she doesn’t hang up her racket just yet.
WHILE Dmitriy Salita’s boxing future is still uncertain, one thing he is sure about is what he’ll be doing once he finally hangs up his gloves. On a visit to Argentina as part of his fundraising activities for Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish schools, he revealed: “I will make aliyah with my family.” Two days after his infamous 76-second defeat to Amir Khan, he visited Israel for the first time. “I was at Yad Vashem,” he said. “It was a very traumatic experience, but at the end of the museum you can see the wonderful sight of Israel. I realised that after this hard defeat I needed to do my best to come back and also that Israel is at the end of my journey.” At least there was something positive to take from the crushing loss.