Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wozniacki & Clijsters into final

WTA Championships, Doha
Dates: 26-31 October
Coverage: Live coverage on Eurosport (1430 BST) and WTA website, reports and photos on BBC Sport website

Caroline Wozniacki
Wozniacki secured the year-end number one ranking on Thursday

World number one Caroline Wozniacki will play former champion Kim Clijsters in the WTA Championships final after the pair won their semi-finals in Doha.

Clijsters, who was involved in a car accident beforehand, saved a set point in the opener before recovering to beat Sam Stosur 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Wozniacki also saved early break points but won the last nine games to see off world number two Zvonareva 7-5 6-0.

The Dane had secured the end-of-year top ranking earlier this week.

Clijsters escaped unhurt from a car crash on her way to the stadium, with the courtesy car abandoned by the side of the road and a replacement quickly summoned.


"I don't know exactly what happened, but there was a lot of glass, and we got lucky," said the 27-year-old Belgian.

"Everyone was distracted and I was trying to switch off my mental state. But we got lucky."

When the first of the semi-finals got under way it was maybe no surprise that Stosur started the better, racing to a 3-0 lead as her heavy, kick serve kept Clijsters on the back foot.

The Belgian, who won the end-of-season title in 2002 and 2003, recovered the early deficit and saved a break point in game nine with a rasping backhand winner down the line.

It came down to a tie-break and a heavy forehand winner helped Clijsters to 5-3, from which point she took control of the match.

The US Open champion produced some of her best tennis as she rattled through the second set in 26 minutes to reach the final for the first time in seven years.

Kim Clijsters
Clijsters is playing her first event since the US Open following a foot injury

"I played well at the important points and I think that's why I won the first set and then in the second set I felt maybe she dropped her game a little bit," said Clijsters.

"I had an early chance to break, and I did, and that gave me a little bit more confidence to just try to serve it out every time."

Fortunes fluctuated at the start of the second semi-final as Wozniacki saved four break points in the opening game and then took advantage of some poor Zvoanreva serving to move 4-1 ahead.

The Russian then grabbed the momentum with four games in a row but failed to convert two set points when serving at 5-4, and Wozniacki levelled with a sweeping backhand winner.

A tie-break loomed but Wozniacki would not ease up and forced a loose volley from Zvonareva in game 12 to take her first set point and move ahead.

Zvonareva appeared crushed by her failure to close out the first set and her game disintegrated at the start of the second as Wozniacki broke three times in succession to wrap up an ultimately comprehensive win.

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