Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Breakthrough Jew – Shahar Pe’er

This year, Pe’er competed at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships losing to Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki. As of June 2014, Pe’er was ranked no. 78 in the world.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: July 3rd, 2014 in Sports » World

Breakthrough Jew - Shahar Pe'er

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Shahar Pe’er

Age: 27

Hometown: Jerusalem, Israel

Breakthrough Cred: Won the 2004 Australian Open Juniors’ Championships, then turned professional.

Being considered the all-time greatest tennis player in one’s homeland is phenomenal to say the least. This is the reality of Israeli native Shahar Pe’er.

Pe’er first began playing tennis at the age of 6, following in the footsteps of her two older siblings, sister Shani and brother Shlomi. Shortly thereafter, she began playing competitively. By the age of 12, she had won her first title in the Eddie Herr International Doubles final with Nicole Vaidišová. Pe’er reached the singles final of said tournament as well. In 2001, she had captured first place in the Nike Junior Tour Masters, and also became the youngest player to win the Israeli women’s tennis championship. Not to mention that same year, she won the 55th annual Ericsson Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships under-14 girls’ title, without dropping a single set.

“I was excited for five minutes and that’s all. I am not making such a big deal about this,” Pe’er told Yediot Aharonot in 2001.

“My goal in the next few years is to make the list of the top 100 women tennis players in the world, and afterwards to reach the top level of tennis,” she continued.

In the subsequent three years, Pe’er competed and won a number of tournaments. Her first major victory that garnered international attention was the 2004 Australian Open, when she won the Juniors’ Championship. She also made it into the junior quarterfinals of both the 2004 French Open, and 2004 Wimbledon, and the junior semi finals of the 2004 U.S. Open. That year, Pe’er turned a professional tennis player. By 2005, she was ranked no. 45 in the world. In 2006, after a series of wins, Pe’er finished the season ranked no. 20 in the world. By 2007, she was ranked no. 17 in the world, no small feat considering she was juggling tennis stardom and her mandatory Israeli military service. Both the 2008, and 2009 seasons Pe’er was ranked in the Top 40, reaching no.38, and no. 30, respectively. In 2010, she enjoyed a third Top 20 ranked season. The beginning of the 2011 season, Pe’er had her highest world ranking, reaching no. 11 after the Australian Open in January of that year. She ended the year still ranked in the top 40. In both 2012 and 2013, she enjoyed Top 100 seasons.


“You know it’s something that comes from home, my parents they wanted it to happen. It was very important to them for me to be a regular girl. I know that tennis is important, and everything, and I give everything for tennis, but there is other things except tennis. You need to be smart, and to know other things other than only hitting the ball,” Pe’er explained about finishing high school to World Tennis Magazine.

This year, Pe’er competed at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships losing to Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki. As of June 2014, Pe’er was ranked no. 78 in the world.

Follow Shahar on Twitter @ShaharPeer


Local Hockey Team to Wear Seinfeld Puffy Shirts for Charity Local Hockey Team to Wear Seinfeld Puffy Shirts for Charity TrendingHit the Links for Special Education Hit the Links for Special Education TrendingJewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ A Secret Weapon For NBA Stars Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ A Secret Weapon For NBA Stars Trending
 

KISS to (Finally) Perform in Israel

September 05, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
KISS to (Finally) Perform in Israel

Legendary rock band KISS confirms they’ll be taking their tour to Israeli audiences

Read More

Israeli Analyst Leaked ISIS Execution Videos

September 05, 2014 | By Daniel Batini
Israeli Analyst Leaked ISIS Execution Videos

Meet Rita Katz, an Israeli expat who was born in Iraq, raised in Bat Yam and moved on to become a world leading expert in al-Qaeda and Islamic State’s online activities

Read More

First Female Rhino in 20 Years Born At Ramat Gan Zoo

September 05, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
First Female Rhino in 20 Years Born At Ramat Gan Zoo

A new white rhino calf has been born at Ramat Gan Safari and it’s there to stay

Read More

Local Hockey Team to Wear Seinfeld Puffy Shirts for Charity

September 05, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Local Hockey Team to Wear Seinfeld Puffy Shirts for Charity

Bakersfield Condors, the Edmonton Oilers affiliate team, will be skating Seinfeld style to help raise money for a good cause

Read More

Our Favorite Moments with Joan Rivers

September 05, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Our Favorite Moments with Joan Rivers

Rivers managed to stay in the headlines until the day that she died; here are some of the laughs, and gasps, we’ve shared together over the last few years

Read More

Hit the Links for Special Education

September 05, 2014 | By Dan Horowitz
Hit the Links for Special Education

Now in its 15th year, the Titan Equity UJA Golf Classic raises critical funds for special education in Toronto’s day school system

Read More

New York Revokes ‘HAMMAS’ License Plate

September 05, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
New York Revokes 'HAMMAS' License Plate

The Department of Motor Vehicles describes the vanity plate as "patently offensive"

Read More

Startup Club: StickyTacs

September 04, 2014 | By Daniel Koren

We speak to COO Zohar Levin about working with the Office of former President Shimon Peres, and the unique platform that offers users a way to very simply create their own apps without ever having to learn code

Read More

More Headlines