it almost seems like they are proud to announce it
Israeli Peer happy with security for landmark Doha trip
Web posted at: 1/17/2008 3:9:59
Source ::: REUTERS
MELBOURNE Shahar Peer (pictured right) was convinced that security would not be a problem in Doha, where next month she will become the first Israeli to play a tennis tour event.
The 20-year-old is scheduled to compete in the February 18-24 Qatar Open having not been allowed to play in the Gulf region last year because she was doing military service with the Israeli army.
I spoke to people about security before we decided (to play)... and right away, in Israel, they said its not a problem, the world number 17 said yesterday.
We spoke with the people who know about those things and they said its really not a problem. The tournament was happy I am coming, they want to host the (2016) Olympics, so its a good opportunity (for them) too.
The WTA granted Doha a tournament on the proviso that merit was the only consideration for a players entry.
With heightened relations between Israel and its neighbouring Muslim countries, Peer knows she is taking a risk by playing but it is one she feels is worth taking.
I was thinking about it already the year before but because I was part of the army I couldnt go, she said.
Doha is a big tournament... I dont want to miss it. I heard its a nice tournament and is a nice place to go, so I am happy I am going and I am sure Ill have a good time.
As for blazing a trail for Israeli-Arab relations, Peer said she would do whatever she could.
If by choosing to go, it will help anything in a positive way, I will go and be happy, she said.
I dont know how it will help I am not doing it for that, Im doing it because of my tennis and my career but I will be happy if it will help anything.