Sharapova sets up Olympic semifinal with Kirilenko
Sharapova, who captured her fourth grand slam title at the 2012 French Open in June, beat Clijsters 6-2, 7-5 in 1 hour and 27 minutes.
"I knew that I needed to play at a high level in order to beat her today and I was happy that I did that," Sharapova said.
"Obviously to have a chance to get to the final, creating those opportunities, that's what it's all about"
Sharapova's opponent in the semifinal will be fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, who ousted Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 7:6 (7:3), 6:3 in their quarterfinal earlier Thursday.
This means that Russia secured a place in the final and therefore at least a silver medal.