Israeli Tennis Star Shahar Peer Leads Master Class for N.Y. Children

Peer, in New York for the U.S. Open, takes time out from training to teach budding tennis players.

After competing at Wimbledon and the Beijing Olympics, Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer continues her world tour in New York, where she is preparing to play at the 2008 U.S. Open, starting August 25.

Peer took some time out from her training on Thursday to lead a free tennis clinic for underserved local children - something that has become a tradition, sponsored by the Israeli consulate, in recent years. The clinic was held at Kissena Park in Flushing, Queens.

Rather than focus on the upcoming competition, Peer - who is ranked 25th in the world - turned her attention to helping the budding players strengthen their backhands and forehands, and improve their strategy.

"As these kids prepare to go back to school, I am sure that this tennis workshop will be one of their summer highlights," said Asaf Shariv, Consul General of Israel to New York.

As for her own strategy at the U.S. Open, Peer said she is focusing on the competition's rounds one at a time. "My goal is to start the first round and continue from there," said Peer, who lost in the second round in Beijing.

"I wasn't prepared at the Olympics, but it was an amazing experience," she said. "There are four years until the next Olympics, and I will get there and to London with a different mindset."