Shahar Peer increased the security dilemma surrounding her presence in the United Arab Emirates by producing a stunning 6-2, 7-5 win over the top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open.
The former Israeli soldier is the first woman athlete from her country to compete in the UAE and all three of her matches have been scheduled in the easier-to-protect outside courts.
But after wins over Yanina Wickmayer, the 13th seed, Virginie Razzano, last year's runner-up, and now Wozniacki, the world number three from Denmark, the pressure to take the risk of scheduling her on the centre court has increased.
With Hamas having alleged that a founder member of its organisation was assassinated last month, and fears of tit-for-tat reprisals, Peer has been operating with guards everywhere, separate changing facilities, cameras filming everyone coming in and out of the arena, and secret interviews.
But once again she played with an icy intensity redolent of someone having a cause beyond herself and, apart from slightly wavering in the second set, she was more consistent.
Bhupathi-Mirnyi lose in first round
Memphis (US): India's Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi of Belarus went down in straight sets to American pair Eric Butorac and Rajeev Ram in the doubles first round of the $1,100,000 Regions Morgan Keegan Championship tennis.
Bhupathi and Mirnyi, seeded first, lost 4-6, 4-6 on the hard courts here Tuesday. The two, who came back together for this season, also crashed out of last month's Australian Open.
In the men’s singles, unheralded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy ripped up the form book with a 7-6, 6-3 upset of second-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the first round.