Open victory reveals two sides of Clijsters

Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:59pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kim Clijsters, the long-running success story on New York's grand slam stage, is as ruthless on court as she is supportive off it.

The 27-year-old Clijsters offered words of encouragement to Vera Zvonareva, the victim she pummeled in Saturday's final for her third U.S. Open crown and second in a row, on the court during the trophy presentation.

"Vera just keep it going, it will happen," the Belgian said as consolation to the seventh-seeded Russian, who had reached her second successive grand slam final but is still looking for her maiden triumph.

Later Clijsters told reporters the 59-minute 6-2 6-1 drubbing she delivered was motivated by revenge, a desire to exact some payback for her three-set quarter-final loss to the Russian at Wimbledon.

"I kind of knew going into the match which things I didn't do well in those two matches that I lost," she said of the loss in London and a 2-6 6-3 6-2 defeat in Montreal last month.

"The one at Wimbledon was one of the most disappointing losses that I've dealt with so far in my career."

Overall, Clijsters held a 5-2 head-to-head advantage over her opponent, but those defeats still burned.

"In a way I was excited to play her in the final here just to try and get that revenge, but I also learned a lot of things," she revealed.   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/Eduardo Munoz</p>