Clijsters beats Davenport at Hong Kong

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> World No. 2 Kim Clijsters overcame a sluggish start to beat top-ranked Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Hong Kong:

World No. 2 Kim Clijsters overcame a sluggish start to beat top-ranked Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-5 Saturday and clinch the Champions Challenge exhibition title in a warmup for the Australian Open. Clijsters rallied from behind in both sets. She served two double faults in her opening game to give Davenport the break then fought back from 2-3 down thanks to four straight errors by the American. Clijsters took advantage of more Davenport mistakes and held on to take the set. Davenport held the first game of the second set after three deuces, but the next four games were breaks. Clijsters held to even it at 3-3, but lost her next service game to again fall behind 3-5. The Belgian broke in the next game on a Davenport double fault, then recovered to 5-5. Clijsters went on to break again and serve successfully for the match. Clijsters said she had trouble finding a rhythm initially because of Davenport's inconsistency. "She was going through patches where she would make a few mistakes and then she would hit some unbelievable shots," she said. Davenport seemed in good shape going into the final, but appeared to have trouble moving Saturday. Clijsters next plays at next week's Sydney International. Eyes on Aus Open Davenport, who earlier this week said she plans to play a lighter schedule this year, will not contest any more events before the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 16 in Melbourne. In the final Saturday of a playoff contested by the quarterfinals losers, China's Zheng Jie retired with a left knee injury when trailing the Czech Republic's Nicole Vaidisova 2-6, 1-3. Zheng, China's No. 2 ranked player, said she plans to skip her next tournament but will "try hard" to play at the Australian Open later this month. (AP)

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