Tenth seed Maria Sharapova wasted three match points as clouds were approaching Cincinnati and didn’t manage to be faster than the rain, so her final against fourth seed Kim Clijsters got suspended at 6-2 5-3 with Clijsters serving on deuce. You know how these rain delays can bring a turnaround and that’s exactly what happened. When play resumed, Clijsters took charge, won three successive games, soon after the tiebreak 7-4 and the deciding set 6-2. The victory slipped through Sharapova’s fingers and on top of everything she even needed a medical timeout for her ankle. Final score: 2-6 7-6(4) 6-2.
The world No.7 Clijsters has become the first WTA player this year to win three titles: Brisbane, Miami, and now Cincinnati. The Belgian improved to 4-0 in finals since her comeback and is now 38-17 in career finals.
En route to the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open title Clijsters defeated Dinara Safina in the second round, Christina McHale in the third, seed No.11 Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals, Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals, and finally the three-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova.
By winning the Cincinnati title Clijsters earned $350,000, while Sharapova earned $175,000 as runner-up. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)