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Old Mar 16th, 2003, 09:43 PM   #1
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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

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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