Jankovic will try to make it five wins in a row over the new #1.

Caroline Wozniacki regained the number one ranking she lost only two weeks ago and will immediately face a Saturday semi-final test at the Dubai Championships against former top-ranked player Jelena Jankovic. Wozniacki, displaced for only a few weeks by Kim Clijsters after the Belgian won the Australian Open, earned a Dubai quarter-final victory over Shahar Peer Friday 6-2, 6-4. Serb Jankovic, who finished 2008 on the WTA top spot, outlasted fourth seed Samantha Stosur of Australia in a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) marathon lasting just under three hours. That pair produced 30 break point chances with only a third converted as Jankovic fought back from a breakdown in the final set and took victory in a tiebreaker. The emotional Serb has suddenly struck a seam of form after rallying in her final set 24 hours earlier from 5-3 down. It marked her first set of back-to-back wins since the US Open five months ago.

“My God, it’s been an amazing match,” said the winner. “I’m really happy with my performance overall. There were obviously a lot of ups and downs, but the win is the most important. “I was a little bit tired on the court (in the third set) and I felt that I almost had no gas in the tank. But with a positive attitude, I just telling myself to keep going one point at a time. “That’s what I did. I was able to break her, and it’s so tough to break her. I never gave up, and I came out as a winner.”

Wozniacki has never beaten Jankovic in four meetings but will be taking confidence into their upcoming meeting. “It’s nice to be back at number one, it’s a good feeling,” said the 20-year-old Dane. “I gave Kim one week. Hopefully now I’ll have it for a few more weeks. It’s just nice to be able to say you are number one, it’s a good feeling to have.” Wozniacki’s victory was her fifth from six meetings with Israeli Peer, who was competing in the emirate under heavy security with her matches all held on a well-guarded side court at the Aviation club.

Peer last year played under similar circumstances, reaching the semi-finals and losing to Venus Williams. That loss and this one spared organizers the problems of having to stage a final on a side court, with all logistic nightmares that would have meant. “I had a good start, I was very focused going into the match and knew what I had to do. I knew the (outside) court was going to a bit faster and was going to be a bit more open. “I know if I’m playing well that I’m tough to beat. I was happy about the way I started in both sets.” The Danish winner motored through the first set and took a 4-1 lead in the second before her game began to briefly stutter. Peer, whose level suddenly lifted after a poor afternoon, fought back standing down a double break, pulling to within striking distance at 4-5. But Wozniacki, her eye on the ranking prize, steadied enough to get the job done as she won on her first match point after 74 minutes. Peer, ranked 11th, was weighed down by 34 unforced errors in defeat.


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