Feb 19, 2008

The controversial WTA Qatar Open

No, no, no, there's nothing controversial about the dress. In the picture, tennis players Venus Williams of the United States, Russia's Anna Chakvetadze and Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Serbian Ana Ivanoic pose in traditional Qatari dresses during the opening ceremony of the WTA Qatar Total Open in Doha.

The controversial topic is about Israeli Shahar Peer who is playing on the Arab courts. Shahar Peer has become the first Israeli tennis player to compete in the Gulf region.

Setting aside Arab-Israeli differences, Peer made a successful debut at the WTA Qatar Open on Monday by defeating Slovakia's Andreja Klepac 6-3, 6-4 in the first round.

"Everyone was very supportive" when she decided to go to Doha, Peer said.

"When I came here I was a little excited because I didn't know what to expect, just like every new tournament and every new place you go," she said after the match.

"I find the people are really nice here. I got a very warm welcome."
Shahar Peer looks at US tennis player Venus Williams as she enters the tennis court.

Peer said when she goes on the court "you don't think about politics, you just want to go and play tennis".

(All pictures from Getty Images)

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