Paris, 11 February 2011 | with AFP

World No.120 Jelena Dokic could prove to be the road block on Kim Clijsters’s journey to the top spot.

The pair will meet in the quarterfinals of the Paris Open (tonight Melbourne time). Up for grabs, apart from a place in the semis, is a return to No.1 for Clijsters or a third-successive big scalp for Dokic who overnight upset fifth seed Nadia Petrova 6-4 7-6(4)

“I was confident and put pressure on her,” said qualifier Dokic, who fired  10 aces.

“I played great in the first set, went down a little in the second but I managed to pull through.

“I have already played five matches here, things are getting better and better.

“I have nothing to lose against Kim in the next match. She’s almost number one again. I will just go out and enjoy it.”

Meanwhile,  Russian Maria Sharapova pulled out of the tournament due to illness.

Sharapova, the world number 13, has been suffering from a throat infection since the weekend and consulted a doctor on Thursday morning before deciding to pull out, having been granted a place in the draw as a wild card.

“I’ve really done everything to be ready, but unfortunately, I’m unable to play,” Sharapova said in a statement.

“I want to apologise to my fans and to thank the tournament for having been so understanding and supporting me.”

Sharapova was replaced by ‘lucky loser’ Stephanie Cohen-Aloro of France who went on to lose 7-5 6-3 to America’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round.