Peer enters Dubai semifinals

Shahar Peer of Israel became the first player to reach the semifinal of the Dubai Tennis Championships when her opponent, Li Na of China, retired due to a back injury.

By Kt Report

Published: Thu 18 Feb 2010, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:53 AM

Peer, the world number 22, was leading 7-5 3-0 when Li Na, the Australian Open semifinalist and world number 10, retired.

Peer was clearly the better player on Thursday as she played some powerful ground-strokes.

The Chinese, who was badly struggling with her back problem, also received medical attention during the match, but couldn’t continue.

On Wednesday, Peer knocked down top seed and world number three Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-2 7-5 to enter the quarters.

Meanwhile, in the first doubles quarter-final of the day, Nadia Petrova of Russia and Samantha Stosur of Australia defeated Alisa Kleybanova of Russia and Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-7 7-5 11-9.

In the second singles quarter-final later, Poland’s Agneiszka Radwanska, world number 9, will take on Russian qualifier Regina Kulikova, who caused the biggest upset of the tournament on Wednesday by beating French Open champion and world number 4, Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In the evening match on Centre Court, world number 14, Vera Zvonareva of Russia will take on Victoria Azarenka, world number 6, of Belarus for a place in the semis.

In the night match, defending champion and hot favourite Venus Williams of the US will play Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

In the singles semifinal, Peer will take on the winner of the match between Williams and Pavlyuchenkova.

‘I was feeling like worse’

Li Na, after giving away her match to Peer due to injury, said, “Towards the end of the first set, I hit a high backhand, and then I heard like crack, and I was feeling like, ‘Oh, my God.’ And after the first set I called an official, and she checked. And then I went and tried two more games. But, after that, I was feeling like worse, so I pulled out.”

Na said she could have won the first set. “No, actually I had a set point. But, I mean, she was fighting a lot on the court. I missed a lot of chances today.

The Australian Open semifinalist said she had no regrets. “I mean, if you do well in the Melbourne semifinal, that doesn’t mean you will reach semifinals in all tourneys. I mean, this is tennis. Only one tournament you can do well. You could play best in second tournament and third tournament. I mean, there are always ups and downs.”

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