Shahar Peer already in Trnava: Israeli with a Slovak passport

Shahar Peer (28) from Israel is a player who was previously almost a member of the top ten WTA rankings. Although she was recently struggling on the court, she is still optimistic and she tries to improve her game with her new coach. It may surprise you, or maybe not, but for seven years she has been travelling around the world with a Slovak passport. She has it because her grandparents from the mother's side are originally from Slovakia. Peer revealed us more about her and her family for the bulletin of the EMPIRE Slovak Open 2015 tournament.

Peer is going to come to Trnava as the recent winner of the 50K tournament in Istanbul, Turkey. She won the ITF title after two years. "I feel great. Winning a tournament is always fun and it's exciting. It was difficult and I was able to beat good players. It was very important to me, because I wanted to win more matches in a row. That had not happened lately," Peer responded to a question about the current success.

Israeli is looking forward to a pleasant environment in Trnava. "I heard from the other players that have been there. It's a very, very nice event. I just know the hotel is connected to the court, that is very convenient, and the food is also good.“

She travels with the Slovak passport

If somebody asks Peer for a passport, she can give him the one from Slovakia. She has had this option for seven years now. "I do have a Slovak passport! My grandparents (from the mother's side) were born in Slovakia. My mom's dad died. Grandma lives in Israel. I think I was in Slovakia many, many years ago when I was 12 or 13 and I was playing the junior tournament in Bratislava," Peer told us and she added: "Grandpa was from the village of Varin near Zilina and grandma Juliana Eckstein from Streda nad Bodrogom. But I don't speak Slovak," smiled No. 120 in the WTA rankings. We asked her if she knew the typical Slovak food: bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with bryndza sheep cheese). "Actually, I do not. My grandma cooks many different dishes from Slovakia, Czech Republic or Hungary. So I'm not sure what's from Slovak cousine. But I will love to try!!!"

Great double-handed backhand

In January 2011, Shahar Peer was No. 11 in the WTA rankings. She has won 6 WTA titles so far (Suzhou 2013, Guangzhou 2009, Tashkent 2009, Pattaya 2006, Prague 2006 & Istanbul 2006). "I don't have a favourite one. Each of them is super special and each of them was almost in a different country and tournament. I love them all!"

Peer's two-handed backhand is considered to be one of the best on the women's tour. "I think I have a very good backhand. I also think I play smartly and I compete from the first ball to the last ball," confirmed Israeli who wants to work much harder. "My tennis goals are to work hard and compete every single match. I'm sure that the results will follow. I'm not playing my best tennis, but previuos week was a good strike that had not happened for 2 years," she added.

Help from the famous coach

She tries to get better with the new coach. The famous one. Dutch Eric Van Harpen was a coach of Petkovic until November 2014, before he cooperated with Anna Kournikova, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Conchita Martínez or Patty Schnyder for example. "I have just started with a new coach. It was 2 weeks ago as my coach from Israel Yoav Ben-Zvi was not able to travel,“ said Peer at the end.


Photos by: