Showing her Versatility
Clijsters Defeats Davenport to
Capture Pacific Life Open Title
By KEN PETERS
.c The Associated Press
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (March 16) -- Kim Clijsters mixed lobs, volleys and pinpoint groundstrokes to beat Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 7-5 Sunday at the Pacific Life Open for her second title of the year.
Davenport, a former No. 1 still working her way back from last year's knee surgery, made 39 unforced errors -- 12 more than the top-seeded Clijsters.
Clijsters also won the Sydney tournament in January.
Davenport was denied an unprecedented third Indian Wells championship; she won the event in 1997 and 2000.
Clijsters showed her versatility on a point in the 10th game of the second set, when she sent Davenport scrambling with a cross-court forehand, followed with a lob that made Davenport backpedal, next hit a drop shot that forced Davenport toward the net, then won the point with a forehand passing shot.
Davenport could only shake her head.
Clijsters' boyfriend, top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, faced Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil later in the men's final.
Former No. 1 Kuerten beat Rainer Schuettler 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in their rain-delayed semifinal earlier Sunday. After playing almost two full sets in the morning, the three-time French Open champion had only two hours between the end of his semifinal and the start of the final.
Kuerten and Schuettler had to wait overnight to complete their match, which was suspended Saturday night after a wait of nearly 5 1/2 hours. Skies were overcast Sunday, but there was no rain.
Kuerten won the first set Saturday, and Schuettler took the first game of the second set before rain halted play.
Hewitt got a full 24 hours between his semifinal and the final. He beat qualifier Vince Spadea 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 Saturday afternoon.
The 22-year-old Australian is the defending champion at Indian Wells, and is coming off a victory last weekend at Scottsdale, Ariz.
03/16/03 15:47 EST
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Clijsters Outguns Lindsay in Final
High-spirited 19-year-old Kim Clijsters claimed her first Pacific Life Open title Sunday with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Lindsay Davenport. World No.3 Clijsters, who fell to Serena Williams in the 2001final, improved to 21-3 on the year by claiming her 15th career WTA title.
Davenport, tournament champion in 1997 and 2000, was attempting to become the first three-time champion in Indian Wells.
Top-seeded Clijsters, who has now won four of her past five meeting with Davenport since the beginning of 2002, dropped just one set en route to victory (against Nathalie Dechy in the round of 16).
Davenport and Clijsters exchanged four breaks in the first six games of the match. The Belgian broke a third time to take the set 6-4. In the second set Davenport saved a match point on serve at 4-5 and then had three break points in the following game for the opportunity to go ahead 6-5. But Clijsters held serve and then broke Davenport to close out the match.
Davenport said: "There's no question, she is the reason why I didn't play great. I mean, she hits the ball with different spins, some hard, some soft, very consistent, gets a lot of balls back.
"She definitely has been the most improved player. I've said that for a number of months now. Once you break through and start winning titles, it gives you a lot more confidence to keep on doing that. She moves the ball around the court very well, can hit the ball pretty much every spot. Like I said, she's very athletic and gets a lot of balls back.
"I think 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. Now she really seems to be focused for the entire match."
15th career title :eek: I guess I missed some :devil:
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