Match Point

Israeli Tennis Player Competes in Dubai

Andy Ram, 28, became the first Israeli tennis player to compete at the Dubai Open tournament during a doubles game with Zimbabwean partner Kevin Ullyett against Marat Safin of Russia and David Ferrer of Spain. Last week, Israeli player Shahar Peer was barred from entering the United Arab Emirates for fear of antagonizing fans after the war in Gaza, earning the event's organizers a $300,000 fine from the Women's Tennis Association. During the match, armed guards stood watch, spectators had to leave cameras and water bottles outside and pass through metal detectors, and the umpire was asked not to mention Ram's nationality when introducing the match. No Arabs were allowed to serve as line judges. After all that preparation, Ram and Ullyett's loss seems anticlimactic, even if the local line judges did chant "loser, loser.”