Feisty Clijsters too good for Wozniacki in Doha

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Feisty Clijsters too good for Wozniacki in Doha


Belgium’s Kim Clijsters holds her trophy after she defeated Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki during the final match of the Qatar WTA Championship. [AP/YOHAP]

DOHA, Qatar - Belgian Kim Clijsters stole the limelight from new world number one Caroline Wozniacki with a battling three-set victory in the season-ending WTA Championships.

Clijsters, who won the tournament for a third time after victories in 2002 and 2003, pocketed almost $1.5 million in prize-money for winning the title in the Qatari capital. The 27-year-old was up against an opponent seven years her junior but did not look a step off the pace, battling Wozniacki tooth and nail to seal a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win in a match lasting more than two hours at the Khalifa Tennis Complex.

“I felt like it was never going to end,” the beaming Belgian said in a courtside interview. “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 so. She has a great future ahead of her.”

Playing in her first tournament since winning the U.S. Open in September following an operation to remove a mole from her right foot, Clijsters came out guns blazing, breaking Wozniacki in the first game before building a 4-2 lead. Matching Wozniacki’s power from the baseline but bringing that little bit of shot-making imagination the 20-year-old Dane lacks, Clijsters secured the first set when her opponent sent a forehand far and wide.

Clijsters looked in complete command at 3-1 up in the second set, but wobbled. Wozniacki buckled down and battled back to level the match and with a spring in her step looked like the favorite to win the decider and cap a storybook season. Clearly Clijsters was not reading from the same script.

“It’s been a fantastic week for me,” said the Dane. “Kim just played amazing today and she deserved to win.”

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