Tennis: Pe’er heads to Dubai after losing to Safarova

Israeli tennis player suffers her worst defeat of the year in Paris quarters.

Shahar Pe’er suffered her worst defeat of the year on Friday, losing 6-3, 6-0 to Lucie Safarova in the quarterfinals of the Open GDF Suez tournament in Paris.
The 22-year-old Israeli, ranked number 22 in the world, never found her rhythm against Safarova (46) and was sent packing after just 54 minutes.
Safarova won 10 straight games after trailing 3-2 against Pe’er, and was pleased with her performance.
“I was happy with my game today,” said Safarova, the 2007 finalist. “I was serving very well. I was returning her serve pretty well. When I broke her serve, it was a bit easier for me because she started to make more mistakes.”
Pe’er will play in Dubai in the coming week and will face world No. 15 Yanina Wickmayer in a tough first round match.
Pe’er will be playing in Dubai for the first time in her career afterbeing denied a visa to the country last year, apparently because ofanti-Israel sentiments in the Gulf state following Operation Cast Lead.
The United Arab Emirates provided last month written confirmation tothe WTA that it will allow Pe’er to take part in the $2 million event.
The tournament was fined $300,000 for denying the visa and was made topromise to meet other requirements, including written confirmation thatPe’er would be able to play.
Also Friday, Andy Ram and Michael Llodra were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam.
The Israeli/French duo lost 6-4, 7-6 (6) to Franrisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak.