Dubai tennis to pay record fine after Israeli visa denial

The director of the Dubai Tennis Championships announced on Sunday that it would pay a record $300,000 fine for the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant a visa to Israeli player Shahar Pe'er. Salah Tahlak said that the tournament chiefs agreed Sunday to pay the penalties imposed by the WTA Tour Board, which rejected Dubai's appeal last week. The UAE turned down Pe'er's visa request just before her planned arrival for the tournament in February. The tour also demanded that Dubai organizers confirm that qualifying Israeli players will get visas at least eight weeks in advance for the 2010 event. Tahlak said that he hoped all players can take part, but noted that organizers do not have full control over government issues.