Dokic exits Indian Wells tennis tournament

March 12th, 2009 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Indian Wells (California), March 12 (DPA) Jelena Dokic stumbled to another disheartening defeat six weeks after her surprise Australian Open quarter-final, crashing out here in the first round of the Indian Wells Masters tennis.
The Australian, whose comeback story from a career gone wrong thrilled a nation in Melbourne, was humbled by veteran American Jill Craybas 6-4, 6-2 here Wednesday.

Dokic, ranked 80th, was playing only her second WTA match since the Open and admitted she may have got her scheduling badly wrong.

“I haven’t been home (to Monte Carlo) since September,” said the 25-year-old. “I’m exhausted and don’t know what to do on the court right now.

“I’ve had no rest for six months and I’m tired mentally.”

Dokic made a fairy-tale return in Melbourne after qualifying into the Open by winning a playoff in December. She was then picked for the winning Australian Fed Cup team the week afterwards and then had to make her way to Memphis to play qualifying.

“I’ve played only one event for my ranking since the Open,” she complained. “I got the scheduling really wrong, and now I’m paying for it.”

In other matches, Israeli Shahar advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine. American teenager Alexa Glatch beat Canada’s Stephanie Dubois 6-3, 6-2, Olga Govortsova stopped Briton Anne Keothavong 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 and Russian Ekaterina Makarova ousted French veteran Nathalie Dechy 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Peer, a subject of major controversy last month after being denied a visa under UAE rules due to her Israeli passport, said she accomplished her objective.

“I was very surprised not to get the visa to Dubai. The WTA began applying last November. It was really bad for me not to play, I had won my last five matches.

“It’s not right to put politics over sport. This is a big tournament and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. For sure I want to play there next year, I’m looking forward to it.”

Peer’s late exclusion could have precipitated a player boycott, which never materialised. But the Israeli said that she did hear by text from a few of her colleagues.

“I achieved what I waned to achieve,” she said of the international furore which netted Dubai a $300,000 fine which they have decided to appeal.

“We are a big sport spread around the world. I think that not giving me a visa was a step backwards.” Peer said that her visa rejection only weeks after Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza, left her “surprised and angry”.

“I’m 21 and all I want to do it play tennis.”

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