Soderling win keeps Murray out of world top four

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray's hopes of returning to No 4 in today's updated world rankings list were dashed yesterday when Robin Soderling successfully defended his indoor title at Rotterdam, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the final. Soderling, whose only defeat in three tournaments this year was against Alexandr Dolgopolov in the fourth round of the Australian Open, had to beat Tsonga to keep his place in the top four.

Murray, who is scheduled to make his next appearance here next week in the Dubai Duty Free Championships, stayed on in Rotterdam after his defeat to Marcos Baghdatis in his opening singles match last week in order to play in the doubles with his brother, Jamie. The Scots' run ended with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat in the semi-finals to Jürgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner, though the points earned should be enough to return Jamie to the world's top 50 for the first time for nearly two years.

The men's tournament here is preceded by the women's event, which starts today. Eight of the world's top 10 are in the field, including Caroline Wozniacki, who has an immediate chance to reclaim her place at the top of the rankings. The Dane, who has spent 18 weeks at No 1, will be replaced today by Kim Clijsters but can swap places again with the Belgian if she reaches the semi-finals or better this week. However, Wozniacki could face a tricky opening match against Daniela Hantuchova, who claimed only the fourth WTA title of her career yesterday by beating Sara Errani 6-0, 6-2 in the final of the Pattaya Open.

Clijsters, meanwhile, lost for only the second time in 18 matches this year when she was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in the Paris Open final. Clijsters won the Australian Open and reached the final in Sydney in her previous tournaments.

Ana Ivanovic is here without a coach after ending a trial period with the Portuguese Antonio van Grichen last week. The former world No 1, who has changed coaches on a regular basis, says she has no immediate plans to appoint a replacement and is travelling instead with a hitting partner and fitness trainer. After dropping out of the world's top 50 last summer, Ivanovic returned to the top 20 on the strength of her tournament victories in Linz and Bali at the end of last year.

Having won her only major title at the French Open three years ago, the 23-year-old Serb would no doubt have been pleased by the news that the year's second Grand Slam event is to remain at Roland Garros. The French federation voted yesterday to renovate its historic home rather than move to a new site outside the city.