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."
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