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Peer buries Dubai disappointment with Indian Wells win
INDIAN WELLS (California): Israeli Shahar Peer made the most of a belated return to the court with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition of Ukrainian Kateryna Bon darenko in the opening round of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Wednesday.

Back in competition after being barred from last month's Dubai Championships because she was denied a visa for the United Arab Emirates, Peer eased to victory in 56 minutes.

The 21-year-old, who has beaten Bondarenko in all four of their career meetings, was delighted to be back in action.

"I'm a tennis player," Peer told reporters after breaking Bondarenko's serve five times on the stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. "The only thing I want to do is play tennis.

"That was very bad for me because I had been playing very well. I had won five matches in a row before I lost in the semi-final (at Pattaya City).

"I was angry and sad," she said of her initial reaction to the news that she had to forfeit her place in the lucrative $2 million Dubai tournament.

The UAE, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic ties with Israel and routinely denies entry to its citizens.

However, five days after Peer was excluded from competing, her compatriot Andy Ram was given "special permission" by UAE authorities to play in the men's equivalent the following week.

"At the end of the day, I really achieved what I wanted to achieve by Andy Ram going there," said Peer, who will next meet 10th-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli. "And I am really happy that for next time I will be able to go."

Roger Federer, a three-time winner of the Indian Wells ATP tournament who has a home in Dubai, expressed his disappointment over Peer's treatment by the UAE.

"This shouldn't happen any more in sports in this day and age, that somebody should be rejected from playing in a country," the 27-year-old Swiss said.

"Sport is a great tool where everybody should be able to play in any country in the world.

"I was happy that Andy Ram got the chance to play. They showed good signs there and I hope in the future it's going to be the same."

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