Dubai: Caroline Wozniacki ensured that she would regain the No. 1 ranking from Kim Clijsters after beating Shahar Peer of Israel to reach the semifinals of the Dubai Championships on Friday.
The 20-year-old Dane only lost the top spot on Monday, but she will claim it back when the new rankings are released next week after seeing off Peer 6-2, 6-4. Wozniacki will take on the former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who beat fourth-seeded Australian Samatha Stosur 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (4).
"Of course, it's nice to be back to No. 1," Wozniacki said. "It's a good feeling. I gave Kim one week. Hopefully, now I will have it for a few more weeks."
The WTA said in a press release that Wozniacki would stay at No. 1 for at least four weeks until March 20.
After her short stay at the top came to an end, Clijsters posted a brief message to Wozniacki on her Twitter page: "Congrats :-) ha ha."
Wozniacki became the first player from Denmark to hold the No. 1 ranking when she toppled the injured Serena Williams in October, but she is still yet to reach a Grand Slam final. She lost to Li Na of China in the Australian Open semifinals in January.
However, she was among the most consistent players in 2010, winning more tournaments than anyone else with six. Peer said she was a deserving No. 1.
"It's not like she put in the computer her name as No. 1," she said. "She won so many tournaments. I am sure she will (win a Grand Slam) ... She is putting so much work, and she's not just boom, No. 1."
Wozniacki appears in good form in Dubai, easily beating an ailing Anna Chakvetadze and then only dropping a game in her third round match against Japanese qualifier Ayumi Morita.
"I'm playing good tennis," Wozniacki said. "I feel when I'm playing on a high level, I'm tough to beat. So, I'm really pleased about the way I'm playing at the moment."
Her win on Friday ended another strong run from Peer, who two years ago was barred from playing in Dubai because of nationality. The Israeli player is still given extra security and isolated from the other players in a guarded compound.
Last year, Peer reached the semifinals, beating Wozniacki on the way.
This time around, Wozniacki went up early 3-0 in the first set and was never seriously challenged mostly due to the erratic play of the Israeli who had 34 unforced errors - more than twice that of the Dane. Wozniacki went up again 4-0 in the second set, before Peer seemed to get her game going.
Peer reeled off two games to make it 4-2 and then closed the gap to 5-4 before Wozniacki completed the win with an overhead smash.
"I played two games good in the first set and only last three or four games in second set. Between that, I played pretty terrible," Peer said. "I don't think she had to do anything, just be there and put the balls in. I finished much better than I started."
The controversy over Peer in Dubai has died down somewhat and the 23-year-old Israeli said Friday she "hopes to come every year" to the tournament. Peer said she felt "comfortable and safe" and her father Dov went out of his way to thank the WTA and local organizers whom he called "more than unbelievable."
Peer hopes one thing changes though: she has never played on Center Court in her two years in Dubai.
"It's something that I dream of," she said. "I wish one day I'm going to play in the center court. It means I need to get to the finals probably."