Israel’s Shahar Peer has continued to advance at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, thus seriously testing the tournaments safety measures. The player that wasn’t even allowed to compete in Dubai last year has now reached the semifinals and will play none other than defending champion and top seed Venus Williams, who raised her voice the most about Peer’s visa denial in 2009.
The first Israeli woman ever to compete in the United Arab Emirates led seed No.8 Li Na 7-5 3-0 when the Chinese player retired with a back injury in the quarterfinals. So far at the tournament the 22-year-old Peer has played only on limited-access outside courts at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships and that will remain the case for her semifinal. It could be interesting for you to check out insider blog of Shahar Peer’s coach Pablo Giacopelli highlighting his trainee’s run at the $2-million Dubai event.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams reached the semifinals by a solid 6-3 6-4 win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who had defeated the American in their last two matches in the end of the last season, at Tokyo and Beijing.
The other semifinal will feature Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska. Fourth seed Azarenka routed No.12 seed Vera Zvonareva 6-1 6-3 to reach the final four. Seventh seed Radwanska ended the run of qualifier Regina Kulikova after battling for two hours and 17 minutes to win 3-6 6-4 6-3. (photo: Assaf Yekuel)