Tennis: Peer beats Wozniacki to make Dubai quarterfinals
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Shahar Peer beat top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-2, 7-5 on Wednesday, reaching the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championship a year after she was refused a visa to play in the tournament.
The Israeli had at least one break opportunity on each of Wozniacki's 10 service games. She had never previously even taken a set off the 2009 U.S. Open finalist in three previous matches.
The 22nd-ranked Peer closed it out on her fifth match point in a second set that contained seven breaks. The third-ranked Wozniacki held serve only twice in the match.
"She played really well," Wozniacki said. "She kept changing the rhythm all the time. I had a few unforced errors early in the match and never managed to put her under pressure."
Last year, the organizers were fined $300,000 by the WTA for not allowing Peer to play in the event after she was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates government, citing security reasons.
Wednesday's match was moved to Court No. 1 at the Aviation Club as it is the most secure, a decision Wozniacki agreed with even though she said the court speed was different.
"If there is a threat to her, there is a threat to me as well. So I completely agree with the fact that the match was scheduled on Court No. 1. I'd rather be safe than sorry," Wozniacki said. "The change of court did create a bit of a problem, since it was a little faster than the Centre Court. But the conditions were the same for both of us and I really can't complain."
Both players traded breaks in the opening set before Peer broke decisively to lead 4-1.
Wozniacki won 42 percent her points on first serve and 37 percent on second.