Dubai cheer for Shahar

By Simon Griver, February 23, 2012

Shahar Peer was given a wild card entry into the Dubai Championships three years after being excluded from the competition after the UAE refused her a visa.

Drawn against Fatma Al Nabhani (557) from Oman, the other wild card entry, in the opening round, the local media billed the game as Israel versus the Arab world. This forced the organisers to put out a statement which read: "It is only a tennis game, not a battle for Jerusalem or Tel Aviv."

Peer strolled past Al Nabhani 6-3, 6-1 in 61 minutes. The wild card was in acknowledgment that she reached the semi-finals two years ago and the quarter finals in 2011.

Peer has slipped to 40 in the WTA rankings although last week she showed impressive form in Doha, beating world no. 14 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

Last updated: 4:10pm, February 23 2012