Fewer than 100 spectators witnessed the occasion, but Shahar Peer celebrated her achievement as the first Israeli woman to appear at the Barclays Dubai Championships with a resounding victory yesterday.
Peer, who was refused a visa to play in the tournament 12 months ago following Israel's military offensive in Gaza, beat Yanina Wickmayer 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. "I really wanted to win this match, not only because of tennis, but to make a statement that politics and sport should not be involved," Peer said afterwards. "There were a lot of emotions for me."
Her exclusion 12 months ago by the UAE government led to a $300,000 fine on the tournament.Reuse content