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Wozniacki regains world number one ranking

February 19, 2011 19:27 IST

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki regained her status as world number one when she defeated Israeli Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai tennis championships on Friday.

The victory ensured that Wozniacki, who had ceded her number one ranking to Belgian Kim Clijsters a week ago, will return to the top spot when the new world rankings are issued on Monday.

"Of course it's nice to be back at number one," Wozniacki told reporters. "You know, it's a good feeling. Yeah, I gave Kim one week. Hopefully now I'll have it for a few more weeks."

Australian Open champion Clijsters, who took the top ranking on her way to the Paris Open final last week, is not in Dubai.

Caroline WozniackiTop seed Wozniacki, who has been criticised for reaching the top of the rankings without ever winning a grand-slam tournament, made a good start on Friday in a match staged on a side court for security reasons.

She twice broke the ninth seed to love and dropped just two points in the first three games, taking a 3-0 lead with a particularly fine crosscourt forehand winner.

"The crowd was sitting all on one side, so (it was) definitely different than playing in the stadium," Wozniacki said. "But, to be honest, I was just focused on my game. I know that if I'm playing well I'm tough to beat."

Peer broke in the fourth game but Wozniacki went on to break again for 5-2 and served out the set.

In the second set, Peer earned just one point in the first four games, when Wozniacki double faulted, and twice double-faulted herself on break point.

The match then became more competitive and Peer broke for 2-4. Although Wozniacki then broke to lead 5-2 she was unable to serve out the match at her first try. She also had to fight off two break points at 5-4 before securing victory.


Peer had no explanation for her slow start but said she would love to return to Dubai and play on centre court -- a luxury she has been denied so far because of the security measures put in place.

"It's something that I dream of," admitted Peer who was refused a visa to compete by the Arab state two years ago because of its lack of diplomatic ties with Israel but reached the semi-final last year.

"I wish one day I'm going to play in the centre court. It means I need to get to the finals probably."

Wozniacki will play Serbian Jelena Jankovic in the semis after the sixth seed took two hours and 50 minutes to beat Australian Samantha Stosur. After trailing 1-4 in the deciding set she recovered to win 6-3, 5-7, 7-6.

The other semi-final will feature 11th seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta and 16th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

Pennetta overwhelmed Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 6-0 while Kuznetsova needed exactly two hours to defeat eighth seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 7-6, 6-3.

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