Clijsters beats Wozniacki to win WTA Championships
Originally published on: 31/10/10 18:52
Kim Clijsters has clinched the third WTA Championships title of her career, beating world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 5-7 6-3 in the final.
Clijsters, who also won the season-ending play-off in 2002 and 2003, was pushed hard by Wozniacki in a hard-fought victory packed with thrilling rallies and some great shots from the season’s two standout performers.
US Open champion Clijsters’ victory earned her a fifth title of the year – one less than Wozniacki’s tour-best half-dozen – taking her career tally to 40 and consolidating her season-ending world ranking of No.3 behind the Dane and Russia’s Vera Zvonareva.
The WTA Championships title also brought Clijsters $1.45 million, taking her career prizemoney earnings beyond the $20 million mark.
Wozniacki may have clinched the year-end world No.1 ranking earlier in the week, but it was Clijsters that set the pace in the final, matching the 20-year-old in defence and posing more threat in attack, particularly from her forehand wing.
Clijsters, who emerged shaken but unscathed from a car crash ahead of her semi-final win against Sam Stosur yesterday, swept through the first set and raced out to a 4-1 lead in the second,seemingly on her way to a comfortable win.
But Wozniacki struck back in emphatic fashion, taking seven of the next eight games to level the match and grabbing a break in the opening game of the decider.
Clijsters kept her cool, however, and responded immediately with a break of her own, seizing back the momentum in the process. From there the Belgian moved out to a 5-2 lead before sealing the title in two hours and 20 minutes.
“I felt like it was never going to end,” joked Clijsters on court afterwards.
“It was a really tough battle with some great shots, great tennis and great fitness. I’m glad that I won. Obviously it’s disappointing for Caroline but I don’t know how many more years I’m going to keep doing this – she has a great future ahead of her.”
Wozniacki paid tribute to Clijsters’ performance.
“It’s been a fantastic week for me,” said the Dane. “Kim just played amazing today and she deserved to win.”
The WTA Championships now leaves Doha and moves to Istanbul for the next three years.