Kim Wins Porsche Grand Prix
Congratulations to Kim for winning her second title of the year. This was the battle for the right to say "I've won two titles so far this year.".
"WAY TO GO - KIM"
Wins Porsche Grand Prix
October 13, 2002 11:53 AM ET
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FILDERSTADT, Germany (Reuters) - Belgium's Kim Clijsters battled her way to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over eighth seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia to win the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Sunday.
Both players struggled to stamp their authority on the one hour 55-minute match, and the outcome hung in the balance until sixth seeded Clijsters broke to lead 5-4 in the final set when a forehand down the line from Hantuchova landed just wide.
"With having a cold, I don't know how I've been able to finish off the match," said Clijsters, who is playing doubles with Hantuchova next week in Zurich.
"I was feeling it in the third set. My legs were feeling very tired. I was missing a lot of returns as well.
"But I told myself it was the last match and to just go for it. I put everything I had into it, but if I had lost that game to go 5-4 down I think it would have been a totally different story."
The first set went to Hantuchova after three consecutive breaks of serve left her leading 3-2, but she had to hold off break points in her next three service games before taking the set.
FLURRY OF BREAKS
The second set also produced a flurry of breaks. With Clijsters leading 2-1, only one point was held on serve in the next four games, before the Belgian broke a third time in the set to lead 5-3 before taking the set in the next game.
In the final set, Clijsters broke to lead 1-0 but the Slovak leveled at 4-4 when Clijsters hit her sixth double fault.
In the ninth game, Hantuchova was broken again after holding three game points, and Clijsters served out the match to claim her second title of the year. Her first was also on German soil, in Hamburg last May.
For Hantuchova, who has the consolation of entering the top 10 for the first time on Monday, it was her second final this year after she claimed her maiden career win at Indian Wells in March.
"I'm really disappointed because I thought I had a really good chance to win this match, especially in the 4-4 game in the third set when I was 40-15 up," said Hantuchova.
"But I've had a great time here, especially getting to the top 10 for the first time. It's something really special and I'm very excited about that."
The encounter between the two 19-year-olds was the first all-teenage final in the 25-year history of the tournament, although the youngest final was in 1984 when 15-year old Steffi Graf played 21-year old Catarina Lindqvist.