Clijsters wins J&S Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Top-seeded Kim Clijsters beat Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 7-5, 6-2 on Sunday to win the clay court J&S Cup.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Top-seeded Kim Clijsters beat Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 7-5, 6-2 on Sunday to win the clay court J&S Cup. Clijsters, the world's second-ranked player, picked up her first title of 2006 and avenged a semifinal loss to Kuznetsova in last year's J&S Cup. “She is a very good clay-court player,'' Clijsters said of Kuznetsova. “I was very aggressive and tried not to give her the opportunity to play her own game.' Serving at 5-5 in the first set, Kuznetsova pushed a forehand wide to give Clijsters the break. The Russian had two break points in the next service game, but Clijsters held serve to close out the set. On Kuznetsova's first break point, Clijsters' serve kicked high, forcing a forehand error from the Russian. Kuznetsova then pushed a two-handed backhand wide on the second break point. Kuznetsova netted a backhand on the fourth deuce, and Clijsters hit a forehand winner to take the set. “I think I built up my points really well and was patient until I felt like I could go for a winner,'' Clijsters said. “I was very consistent throughout the whole match, and we have some really good rallies out there which makes it a lot of fun. I was really enjoying myself out there.'' The players traded breaks to open the second set. Serving at 1-1, Kuznetsova double-faulted to give Clijsters a break point, and she then hit a forehand out as the second-ranked Belgian broke again. “Kim hit the ball and I was defending, but after a good shot I was not coming in,'' Kuznetsova said. “I was giving her too much space, and she could hit her winners.'' Kuznetsova, the world's 10th-ranked player, lost the J&S Cup final for the third straight year. She lost to Venus Williams in 2004, and to Justine Henin-Hardenne last year. “I always have tough opponents and I was trying to play well and I didn't,'' Kuznetsova added. “Kim played very well, but it's not about the final every year. It's about I have tough opponents all the time, and they just played better than me in the final.'' (AP)

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