Game, set, match for Pe’er

Shahar Peer plays in the Australian Open Girls Tournament in 2004.

FOR top-ranking Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe’er, retiring from professional international tennis was one of the hardest decisions she’d ever had to make. But the youngest contestant ever to win the Israeli women’s tennis championship has no regrets.

“I look back on this experience with a huge smile, a lot of happiness and satisfaction,” Shahar said. “I am proud of all of my accomplishments as well as the huge honour I was given to represent the state of Israel.”

Pe’er has won five singles and three doubles titles on the Women’s Tennis association tour, as well as four singles and three doubles titles on the International Tennis Federation tour.

She twice reached the Grand Slam quarterfinals in singles and appeared in the doubles finals of the 2008 Australian Open, and reached world number 11 in the best singles rankings in 2011.

But after two years of chronic inflammation in her shoulder, Pe’er said that she could no longer compete at the high level that she expects from herself, and after 13 years Pe’er said simply that she is grateful for the support she received “every single day, every hour and every place I went to around the world”.