VIDEO - Shahar Peer became the first Israeli to compete in a WTA Tour event in the Persian Gulf when she defeated Slovenia's Andreja Klepac 6-3, 6-4 in the Qatar Open first round on Monday. The 20-year-old Peer beat Klepac in a match in which they struggled to hold serve in front of a small crowd of about 50 people. Despite the empty stands, Peer said she was pleased with the reception. Video courtesy of Infolive.tv "I have been received with a lot of warmth by people in Doha," she said. "I have been made to feel w elcome by everybody I have come across so far." Peer was barred from playing in Doha for two years when she underwent military training in the IDF, as the Israeli government prevented her from competing in countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Also, former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France beat Sabine Lisicki of Germany 7-6 (2), 6-3, Austria's Sybille Bammer ousted Aiko Nakamura of Japan 6-1, 6-3, and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska edged Japan's Akiko Morigami 7-5, 6-0. Peer said she has had time to tour Doha, visiting shopping areas and eating at a Moroccan restaurant with tournament director Ayman Azmy. She said she discussed the situation with both Israeli and tour officials before deciding to enter. "When I spoke to the WTA Tour, they said it was fine to go," Peer said. "Also, officials in Israel said there is no problem to play in Qatar. I have been provided proper security by the organizers, so I feel fine being here." The six Arabian Gulf countries, all US Allies, do not recognize Israel, but Qatar maintains low-level ties to the Jewish state. Qatar, which is vying for the 2016 Olympics, is home to Israel's only diplomatic mission in the Gulf, a trade mission. Shimon Peres, then Israeli deputy prime minister, visited Qatar in January last year and met with its ruler.