Israel`s Peer takes Dubai security in her stride

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 09:26

Dubai: Israel`s Shahar Peer is comfortable with the tight security surrounding her at the Dubai Championships and confident about her chances against top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third round, she said on Tuesday.

Peer has been isolated from the other players for security reasons. Asked if it felt odd, she said: "No, I`ve got used to it ... it`s pretty nice."
"I might ask (for) it (at) every tournament because I have my own time, my own changing room, my own people that I`m already friends with -- everybody that takes care of me nicely."

"I`m learning how not to spend time on the tennis area and ... whenever I`m finished, I`m out of here, so it`s good," world number 22 Peer told reporters.

Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates which, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state and Israelis are routinely denied entry.

Dubai said on Tuesday it had issued arrest warrants for 11 European passport carriers suspected of the killing of a top Hamas commander, after its police chief said he did not rule out Israeli involvement.

Hamas military official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was found dead in a luxury hotel in the Gulf emirate last month, and the Palestinian Islamist militant group has accused Israel of being behind the killing.

Israel has refused to comment but a security source there said Mabhouh played a key role in smuggling Iranian-funded arms to militants in the Gaza Strip.
Peer, who last year was denied an entry permit to Dubai, earlier told Israel`s Maariv newspaper she felt "completely safe" in Dubai.

"I`m not afraid because I have played in Doha and I really enjoyed it there," she said. "Last year`s events pained me greatly."

"I am happy that at the moment it happened I received wall-to-wall support and everybody was of the opinion there is no room for such phenomena in sport."

Peer, who beat Virginie Razzano of France in the second round, was optimistic about her meeting with Wozniacki on Wednesday although she knew it would be a tough match, having already lost to the Dane three times.

"She`s number three in the world ... but I`m playing well and I believe if I play well tomorrow then anything can happen," said the Israeli."

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 09:26

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