A year after she was stopped from playing in the Dubai Championships, Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer is proving unstoppable in reaching the semifinals on Thursday.
Unseeded Peer beat her third seed in four matches when No. 8 Li Na, the Australian Open semifinalist, retired with back spasms. Peer was leading 7-5, 3-0.
Peer, who has also beaten No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 13 Yanina Wickmayer, will meet defending champion Venus Williams.
"I'm beating so many good players," Peer said. "It's really good and I'm happy by the way I'm playing. I think I'm playing very, very good, and everything is coming together. So I just hope to keep going."
'She's so brave'Peer, who was been surrounded by security and played only on the most secure court at Aviation Club, earned the admiration of Williams.
"She's so brave and she's got so much character. I can't imagine being in her shoes," Williams said.
"I can't imagine playing so well with this kind of circumstance. I don't think anyone else on tour could do what she's doing."
Last year, Peer's visa was denied by the United Arab Emirates for security reasons, so the WTA Tour punished the tournament organizers with a heavy fine.
She's into at least the semifinals for the third time this year.