Paris, Feb 12 (AFP) Kim Clijsters became the first motherto be crowned world number one when she battled back from 3-0down to defeat Australia''s Jelena Dokic 6-3, 6-0 in the ParisOpen quarter-finals.
The 27-year-old reigning US and Australian Open championhas now reached the top spot for the third time in her career.
The Belgian first hit the heights in 2003, when she wasnumber one for 12 weeks, and then again in 2006, spendingseven weeks at the head of the rankings.
Clijsters, who was also US Open champion in 2005 and2009, will officially knock Denmark''s Caroline Wozniacki, whohas yet to win a Grand Slam title, from the number one slotwhen the new WTA rankings are released on Monday.
"It''s incredible to have been successful so quickly aftermy comeback," said Clijsters, who had retired in 2007 to starta family before returning to the tour in 2009 after givingbirth to daughter Jade.
"I have been playing really well for some months now. Iam happy to have become number one here in Europe -- the lasttime, it was in Los Angeles."
Clijsters''s return to the top will bring a little respectback to the position which has lost some of its lustre inrecent years.
The retirements of Grand Slam winners Martina Hingis,Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin havedamaged the top ranking''s credibility while Serena and VenusWilliams are playing less and less.
Clijsters has enjoyed a memorable last six months,winning all three of the last major tournaments, the US Open,Masters and Australian Open.
She also led Belgium to victory over the United States inthe opening round of the Fed Cup World Group last weekendbefore arriving in Paris where she was champion on her lastand only previous visit in 2004.
Yesterday, she lost the opening three games againstqualifier Dokic before reeling off the next 12.
"I''ll try and win this tournament again," she said.
Clijsters will face either Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakiaor Estonia''s Kaia Kanepi in Saturday''s semi-finals.
The other last four clash will see Czech fourth seedPetra Kvitova taking on Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the UnitedStates. (AFP) CM