Tennis / Shahar Goes All the Way

This day in history: February 1, 2004

Although Shahar Peer promised her parents she intended to go all the way at the Australian Open Junior Championships, they tried to stay realistic. "We expected her to reach the quarterfinals, the semis at most," her father Dovik told Haaretz at the time.

But Peer, then 16, didn't fly across half the world to lose. She advanced all the way to the final, where it took her just 65 minutes to pick apart Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1. She became the first Israeli women to win a junior Grand Slam title since Anna Smashnova won Roland Garros in 1990.


Peer was ranked 490th in the world among adult players at the time. "I don't think I'll be satisfied with making the Top 50 in the world," said the teenager. "Twenty to 30 in the world seems more likely."

Peer rose in the rankings this week to number 11 in the world. The question now is if the prediction of her coach at the time, Lior Mor, that Peer would eventually reach the Top 10, will come true.