Israeli tennis sensation Shahar Peer has crashed into the Austaralian Open quarterfinals after springing an upset on #3 seed Svetlana Kuztnetsova today 6-4, 6-2. Peer, the 16 seed, will have a tough task in the quarters however as she will take on the comeback queen, Serena Williams. No matter the outcome, Peer has already achieved more than she probably thought she would when the draw was first announced and, regardless of her success against Serena, will almost assuredly, come out of Australia as the highest ranking Israeli tennis player ever.
Peer went into Australia ranked 17th on the WTA circuit, but, due to her quarterfinal finish, at least, will almost certainly rise to at least 14th. That would surpass the ranking of 15 achieved by Anna Smashnova in 2003. Should Shahar beat Serena and move on to the semis, she could move up past 14th and begin to have designs on the top 10, rarefied air indeed for an Israeli tennis player. She would also make history as the first Israeli to make the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament.
Serena Williams entered the tournament ranked 81st in the world after being off for the better part of a year due to a knee injury but she has been her electrifying old self in her recent Australian matches and presents a formidable obstacle for Peer to overcome if she is to become the Cinderella of Oz.
UPDATE: Peer's dream crashed against Serena's comeback as Williams stormed back from a opening set defeat to snatch victory away in a third set tie break 3-6, 6-2, 8-6.