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tennisIlove09
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:04 PM
Consistent Clijsters hits new level
March 17 2003
By Patti Myers
The Desert Sun

INDIAN WELLS -- Kim Clijsters has come so close in the past few weeks. On her fourth trip to Indian Wells, she finally landed the big one.

As the runner-up in her last two WTA events in Antwerp and Scottsdale, Ariz., Clijsters’ consistency paid off at the Pacific Life Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Lindsay Davenport.

It was a whale of a day for Clijsters, whose boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt followed her match with a straight-set victory over Gustavo Kuerten to win the men’s singles title.

"I definitely wanted this one," said the 19-year-old from Belgium, who held her whale sculpture trophy high above her head following the women’s singles championship at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. "I raised my level during the match. Against every top player, you have to move well and try to make that extra ball. She missed a few easy shots on those points where I got a break back. Those are very important points to change sets back around."

Clijsters found the consistency she wanted in improving to 21-3 on the year and winning a 15th career title.

"I feel like I’m more consistent," said Clijsters, who won $332,000. "Even when I’m down, I don’t panic. When I was younger, maybe I was trying to do many things to get back."

While her play was consistent all week, losing only one set against Nathalie Dechy in the Round of 16, she also stayed consistent with her off-court routine.

When Clijsters woke up Sunday, it took her a while to get on track. Once she did, Davenport was denied an unprecedented third title at Indian wells. She won in 1997 and 2000.

"Now she’s just playing a lot smarter and a lot more confident than before, where she would maybe miss some balls or lose her concentration," said Davenport, who won $163,000. "Now she really seems to be focused for the entire match.

"There’s no question, she is the reason why I didn’t play great. She hits the ball with different spins, some hard, some soft, very consistent."

Davenport and Clijsters exchanged four breaks in the first six games of the match. Clijsters erased a 3-1 deficit in the first set, breaking Davenport at 3-3 to come back for the 6-4 victory.

Davenport jumped to a 3-1 lead in the second set, but Clijsters held with strong forehand rallies and broke back for a 3-3 tie when Davenport double-faulted -- one of 10 in the match.

Clijsters had first match point with Davenport serving at 5-4, but Davenport hit a winner.

Clijsters saved all three match points at 5-5 before Davenport fought off another match point at 5-6 with her forehand. However, on Clijsters’ third match point, Davenport smashed an overhead into the net.

"In the beginning I was making a few easy mistakes, especially on my serve," Clijsters said. "I raised my level during the match. But even if it’s not good tennis, you just have to keep fighting."

Hawk
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:08 PM
It was a whale of a day for Clijsters, whose boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt followed her match with a straight-set victory over Gustavo Kuerten to win the menís singles title.

A whale of a day :rolleyes: They just could help themselves lol :p