Clijsters repeats as U.S. Open champion

Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:58pm EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Belgium's Kim Clijsters won her second straight U.S. Open women's title on Saturday after crushing seventh-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-1 in the most lopsided triumph in 34 years.

The second-seeded Clijsters hit 17 winners while making just 15 unforced errors against a nervous Zvonareva to match the three games lost by American Chris Evert in her 6-3 6-0 demolition of Australian Evonne Goolagong in 1976.

Clijsters, 27, extended her Flushing Meadows match-winning streak to 21 in a row, having also won the title in 2005 before missing a year due to injury and two more to start a family.

"It's been an incredible year, being back in the Open and for the first time I'm able to defend my title," Clijsters said at the trophy ceremony.

Last year her infant daughter Jada came on court to cavort around the shiny silver trophy after Clijsters struck a blow for working mothers everywhere with a grand slam victory in just her third tournament back from her hiatus.

Saturday, curly-haired Jada looked on from the stands, sucking a lollipop as her mom made quick work of Zvonareva.

Clijsters cruised through the first set in 27 minutes after twice breaking Zvonareva's serve. The Russian, appearing in her first final at Flushing Meadows, gifted Clijsters a break in the sixth game with a double fault and three unforced errors.

Then Clijsters wrapped up the set with a service break when Zvonareva slapped a backhand into the net.   Continued...

 
<p>Kim Clijsters of Belgium holds her daughter Jada as she poses with her trophy after defeating Vera Zvonareva of Russia during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>