Pe'er reaches Auckland semis; 5 protesters arrested

Peer beats Kirilenko to

Israel's top female tennis player Shahar Peer ignored a third day of protests from pro-Palestinian demonstrators to beat Maria Kirilenko 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 on Thursday and reach the semifinals of the ASB tennis Classic. Police, acting on a noise complaint from tournament organizers, made five arrests as about 20 demonstrators chanted and blew whistles outside the downtown Auckland tennis stadium during Peer's quarterfinal match. The New Zealand group Global Peace and Justice has timed protests to coincide with Peer's three matches at the Auckland tournament so far. One arrest was made at a particularly noisy protest Wednesday and those arrested Thursday included protest group leader John Minto. Pe'er once again seemed unaffected by the protests: she rushed through the first set in only 23 minutes with service breaks in the first, third and fifth games.