It will not be the sort of setting where you would expect the world No 1 ranking to be at stake, but Caroline Wozniacki will try to put such matters out of her mind when she meets Shahar Peer here today in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Championships.
Wozniacki, who will reclaim top place in the world rankings from Kim Clijsters if she wins, has grown accustomed to playing in some of the game's biggest arenas, but will face Peer on one of the tiny outside courts at the Aviation Club. Peer, the first Israeli woman to compete in this event, has to play all her matches on the courts next to the private locker room where she is kept apart from all her rivals for security reasons. There is seating on only one side, with all spectators having to pass through scanners.
Peer, who beat Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 yesterday, knocked out Wozniacki on her way to the semi-finals here last year. Wozniacki remembered how fast the surface was and hopes she has learned from that experience. "On a small court, it's completely different," Wozniacki said after crushing Japan's Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-0. "I'll definitely have to get used to that. She has a big advantage there."