(JTA) — Shahar Pe’er’s run in a Dubai tennis tournament ended with a loss in the semifinals.
The Israeli fell to third-seeded Venus Williams last Friday in the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships amid fears that a Pe’er victory would cause a security nightmare, The Guardian reported.
Williams, who went on to win the tournament, beat Pe’er 6-1, 6-4. Security concerns prevented the match from being held on center court.
"It was a different experience, but a nice one," Peer told The Guardian. "I’m sure I will remember this tournament for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to win it, which would be my dream, actually. But there are no complaints. I think I achieved a lot professionally and also mentally for myself, for my inside, you know?"
Pe’er, who is ranked 22nd in the world but was unseeded in the tournament, has been competing amid tight security. She missed the tournament last year after being denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates.
Williams rose to Pe’er’s defense last year, and said she would refuse to compete in Dubai this year if Pe’er was not allowed.
Pe’er was restricted to traveling from the tennis courts to her hotel due to concern for her safety in the Muslim country. She also was separated from the rest of the players and had her own dressing room and gym, according to reports. Spectators of Peer’s matches were screened by metal detectors.