Clijsters wins to complete remarkable five-year climb back to summit

Kim Clijsters will return to No 1 in the world rankings next week for the first time for five years.

The 27-year-old Belgian, who won the Australian Open last month and has lost only once in 16 matches this year, ensured she would end Caroline Wozniacki's 18-week reign at the top by reaching the semi-finals of the Paris Open indoor event with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jelena Dokic yesterday.

Clijsters' return to the top maintains her remarkable run since coming out of retirement two years ago. Having added three Grand Slam titles to the one she claimed before quitting in order to start a family, she now becomes world No 1 for the fourth time. She had two spells at the top in 2003 and one in 2006.

The last time Clijsters topped the rankings was 256 weeks ago. Only one other player – woman or man – has reclaimed the No 1 position after a longer break, Serena Williams having returned to the top in 2008 after a gap of 265 weeks.

To mark her achievement Clijsters was presented last night with a glass trophy and a bouquet of flowers in the shape of a number one by Amélie Mauresmo, the tournament director and a former world No 1.

Andy and Jamie Murray maintained their progress in the doubles at the ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam, beating Mahesh Bhupathi and Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-3 in the quarter-finals. They meet Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner, the No 2 seeds, in today's semi-finals.

Jamie Murray, who has reclaimed his position as Britain's highest ranked men's doubles player, won the tournament in Valencia in November the last time he played with his brother.

Currently ranked No 53 in the world, he should return to the top 50 next week for the first time since April 2009.

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