WTA Tour Championships Final: (5)Kim Clijsters v. (1) Serena Williams
Jennifer Capriati put up a worthy fight, but ultimately lacked the highly-skilled net cord shots to beat Serena Williams.
Kim Clijsters embarressed Venus Williams, ripping winners against the injured loser. Unfortunately, Kim didn't get her opportunity to belt out a bagel, or so much as get a "real" win. But with Clijsters' level of play the last few days and today, there is no doubt the match would have been a quick victory, even against a healthy Venus.
So the question is, who is going to be the winner of the hardest and last tournament of the year? What one player can finish the year saying they did not lose their last match?
No doubt, Serena is the favorite. When one has the physique of Zeus, even the muscular Clijsters has little chance...on paper. But how close have their recent matches been? Serena is 5-0 against Clijsters, with at least three of their matches, including their last one, going to three sets. In fact, in their last match, Kim was quite close to dusting Serena in straight sets, before the Williams' crutch for poor ground skills (the serve) kicked in.
There are many different categories to compare the two. Serena has the better serve. Clijsters may have the better return. Certainly, Serena won't be able tee off on Clijsters' heavy, well placed serves like she did against Capriati's up-the-middle, flat ones. As far as speed, Serena is viewed as being fast because she is, yet Clijsters may have the advantage. She is every bit as quick but much more athletic, having better reach, footwork, and a lower center of gravity. Both are known for their forehands. Serena's is better. Clijsters has a better backhand (in fact, I think her backhand is better than her forehand). Clijsters can volley better and most importantly, is more comfortable hitting drops, slices, and lobs. Both love angles. Serena is better at turning defense into offense. Clijsters is better at defensive shots, however. Both players can be their own worst enemies.
Undoubtedly, there are many similarities between the two. The main difference being that Serena is more raw, while Clijsters is more technically in tune. It should be a fun match. Many, including me, saw this match-up coming weeks ago. Who will win?
Advantage Clijsters, 6-3 3-6 6-3.