Israeli Tennis Star Peer: 'I Thought About Quitting'

Winning her first tournament in four years has energized Peer and she now says her aim is to get a grand slam even if she is still 'very far away from that.'

Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer, who won the Suzhou Tournament in China on Saturday, admitted afterward that she considered retirement during the difficult period she had been through. “I reached some very difficult places,” she told Army Radio.

It was the first tournament Peer had won in four years.

“Ten days ago, when I reached the final in Baku, I felt like 'I'm not there, I can't handle tennis anymore, I'm not strong enough for this and I'm not succeeding' that is touching on very inner and unpleasant places,” Peer said.

“Tennis isn't who I am, it's what I do. In the past six months there were at least five or six times when I said 'All right, I'm done with tennis. I had a great career and reached amazing places, but enough is enough. There are more important things in my life.' I'm not ashamed to say these things. People not involved in sports also say such things,” Peer said. “All in all, I have something which I really love. I love being on court, I love winning and losses just kill me.

“At Wimbledon, when I was ranked 179, my agent told me: ‘By the end of the year you'll be back in the top 100.' Of course nobody believed it would happen so quickly — it's crazy to rise from 179 to 80, but that was my choice. He told me, 'If you want to quit, quit, but do it from a lack of love for tennis, not because of your ranking,' so my object was to get into the top 100 by the end of the year. Obviously my aim is to get as far as can, win some titles and if possible, a grand slam. But I'm still very far away from that,” Peer concluded.