DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Israel's Shahar Pe'er beat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 6-4, 6-1 in the first round of the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.
Pe'er jumped out to 3-0 in the first set only to see Martinez Sanchez come back to tie it at 4. Pe'er went up 5-4 and broke Sanchez to take the set. The Spaniard, weakened by a flu and coughing during the match, couldn't keep up in the second set.
Pe'er, barred from the 2009 tournament because she's Israeli, has extra security and her own compound this year. Still, she said she felt very comfortable in Dubai where she lost to Venus Williams last year and was seeded ninth this year.
"Obviously, I played good last year. When you go back to a tournament that you played good, you want to repeat that," Pe'er said.