Saturday, October 30, 2010
Kim Clijsters reaches WTA final
DOHA, Qatar -- U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters was unhurt in a "scary" car accident before her match Saturday and advanced to the WTA Championships final by defeating Samantha Stosur 7-6 (3), 6-1.
Clijsters said a truck "came out of nowhere" at a roundabout and hit the right front door of her official WTA Tour car. Clijsters said she was not injured, but her manager suffered minor cuts.
"Obviously, it was a little bit of a shakeup. We're all fine," Clijsters said after the match. "I was really just kind of trying to kind of switch my mental state and focus on the match.
"We got lucky. There was a lot of glass."
Clijsters will face top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in the season-ending final on Sunday. The 20-year-old Dane routed No. 2 Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-0 in the other semifinal.
Wozniacki is the youngest player to reach the final since Maria Sharapova won at 17 in 2004. Clijsters won the only previous match against Wozniacki in the 2009 U.S. Open final.
Clijsters tweeted before the match that she was involved in an accident on the way to her semifinal at the Khalifa Complex. The fourth-ranked player posted a photo on her Twitter page showing damage to the right front door of her courtesy car.
She tweeted that "we just had a car accident on our way to the courts! So scary."
She added that "we are all OK" but that "the car is ready for the junk yard."
Organizers confirmed the car carrying Clijsters had an accident, but didn't provide details.
Clijsters, who won the WTA season-ending event in 2002 and 2003, took a while to settle into the match.
"I was really white before I was about to warm up," she said.
Stosur took a 3-0 lead in the first set, but the Belgian rallied to force a tiebreaker. Clijsters' forehands caught the corners and her powerful serve clinched the set.
Clijsters went up 3-0 in the second set, with Stosur hitting forehands far and wide en route to 25 unforced errors. A backhand long gave Clijsters a 4-1 lead and a forehand long made it 5-1.
Stosur said it was tight match, but praised Clijsters for her accuracy.
"The end of that first set and the second set, she started using her backhand down the line more and hit some right on the line right when she needed to," Stosur said. "Overall, I thought she just played very solid.
"There's not too many weaknesses in Kim's game. You've got to find them when they're there and really try and take advantage."
Clijsters served more consistently than she had all week, racking up six aces during the match and keeping her double faults -- a problem in the first match of the round-robin tournament -- to only two.
"I have had really tough matches against Samantha in the past. I knew I had to play my best tennis," Clijsters said. "In the first set, I played well in important points. In the second, she dropped her level a bit.
"I had an early chance to break and I did and it gave me confidence to serve it out."
Wozniacki was aggressive from the start against Zvonareva, who beat her in the semifinals of the U.S. Open.
Wozniacki took a 4-1 lead and withstood a comeback from the Russian in the first set. But Zvonareva was no match for Wozniacki in the second set. She used a strong serve and aggressive net play, losing only four points the entire set.
"I'm just enjoying myself right now," said Wozniacki, who has won 12 singles titles, including six this year. "I'm in the finals of the year-end championships. I'm happy about what I've achieved.
"Tomorrow is going to be a tough one. Kim's a great player."