Clijsters wins Sony crown
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Kim Clijsters claimed another trophy in her career comeback yesterday, winning 17 consecutive points in the second set and beating Venus Williams 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open.
Williams struggled to keep the ball in play, and Clijsters completed the shockingly lopsided victory in 58 minutes. When Williams hit one final errant forehand on match point, Clijsters raised her arms in triumph.
"I felt like from the beginning I was ready to go and really seeing the ball well," Clijsters said.
After retiring in 2007, Clijsters married and became a mother before returning to the tour last August. The title is her third since her comeback.
Williams repeatedly was bested from the baseline, where she won nine points to 37 for Clijsters.
"It wasn't my best day," Williams said. "She played extremely solid, but it's not like I was blown off the court. Unfortunately I was my own worst enemy."
She won only nine points in the second set, when Clijsters' roll gave her a 4-love lead.
Of the 55 points Clijsters won, 30 came on unforced errors by Venus, who had been the hottest player on the tour with 15 consecutive wins, her longest streak since 2004.
Venus took the court for the final with her right thigh wrapped, as it had been for every previous match in the tournament. She also wore a wrap on her left knee for the first time, and said she may have made a mistake by practicing too much.
"Today wasn't my best day physically," she said. "To fight errors and not feel your best, it's a mental battle."
After losing the 17th point in a row Williams slowly bent over, flexed her knees and shook her head several times, as if trying to shake out cobwebs.
She swept the next four points to trail 4-1 in the second set, but there would be no rally. Clijsters won eight of the next nine points to close out the victory.
A celebrity doubles match involving Sony Ericsson Open finalist Andy Roddick has raised $125,000 to benefit Chilean earthquake victims.
Fernando Gonzalez of Chile organized the event yesterday with Roddick's help.
Roddick will face Tomas Berdych in today's final.