Just as Jay from www.OnCourtAdvantage.com previewed here on Women's Tennis Blog, the WTA Championships final featured the battle between Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki, and it was a three-setter, however, the winner turned out to be Kim Clijsters and not Caroline Wozniacki.
It was only the second meeting between Clijsters and Wozniacki, and just like their first match which happened in the final of the 2009 US Open, this one was in the final of another grand tournament for which only the best of the best qualify. The 20-year-old Wozniacki, the youngest player to reach the WTA Championships final since Maria Sharapova won at 17 in 2004, rose to the occasion and gave great resistance to the still much more experienced Clijsters.
The Belgian three-time US Open champion won the first set 6-3 and raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set. Wozniacki took charge from that moment on and leveled the score at 4-4, before taking the second set 7-5. In the decider, Clijsters made a crucial break in the sixth game to establish a 4-2 lead and Wozniacki was never able to neutralize that Clijsters’ advantage. The Dane had chances to stay in the match in the eighth game of the third set, but didn’t make good use of them and Clijsters won the match shortly after, on her second match point. Final score: 6-3 5-7 6-3.
The 27-year-old Clijsters became the fifth player to win the WTA Championships at least three times (she won back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003), after Navratilova (8), Graf (5), Evert (4) and Seles (3). It’s her 40th career title and fifth this season. The world No.4 added a huge sum of $1,450,000 to the already great $3,585,060 she had won prior to Doha in 2010 only. As for the money Wozniacki is taking home, she is sure not disappointed despite the loss – her runner-up check is worth $680,000.
It’s bad for top-seeded Wozniacki that she didn’t have that extra something to defeat a player of Clijsters’ caliber and go all the way to the prestigious Doha title which would be a nice icing on the cake of her season-ending No.1 ranking. Good news is that she reached the title match, fought well against Clijsters, even had comeback periods during the match, and above all, she was far from melting down and letting the nerves get the better of her.