Clijsters reaches No. 1 again

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 8:11 PM ET

PARIS - Kim Clijsters needed a victory on Friday to regain the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in five years, and that's exactly what she did when she whipped Jelena Dokic in a quarterfinal affair at the $618,000 Paris Indoors.

The top-seeded 2004 Paris Indoors titlist Clijsters handled the qualifier and former top-10 performer Dokic 6-3, 6-0 in a mere 51 minutes on the hardcourts at Stade Pierre de Coubertin. The four-time Grand Slam champion from Belgium will supplant Dane Caroline Wozniacki atop the new WTA rankings when they're released on Monday.

The Aussie Dokic was a Paris Indoors runner-up back in 2002.

The high-flying Clijsters is the reigning Australian and U.S. Open champion and now 15-1 for the season. She last held the No. 1 ranking in March 2006.

"I am happy to regain the No. 1 here in Paris as I feel like it's close to home in Belgium," Clijsters said. "I'm proud that I have achieved this in my second career and as a mom. I hope that I can now go on and win the tournament."

The 27-year-old Clijsters, who is married to former Villanova basketball player Brian Lynch and has a two-year-old daughter, Jada, retired from the WTA in May 2007, only to return in August 2009. Since her return, the Belgian stalwart has won three-of-six major events.

Clijsters' semifinal opponent on Saturday will be third-seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi, who held off eighth-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 on Friday. Kanepi was a surprise Wimbledon quarterfinalist last year.

In other quarterfinal action on Friday, fourth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova came from behind to outlast seventh-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) and in-form American Bethanie Mattek-Sands upended sixth-seeded German Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-3. The Kvitova-Wickmayer bout ended on a double fault by the Belgian.

The rapidly-rising lefthanded Kvitova will battle Mattek-Sands here on Saturday.

The 2010 Wimbledon semifinalist Kvitova is off to a torrid 14-1 start this season.

"I'm very happy to start the season like this," Kvitova said. "I didn't expect this. I know it will be tough to keep this shape and these results."

The 2011 Paris Indoors champion will claim $103,000.


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