At the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, the women’s singles final was between No.3 seed Venus Williams and No.14 seed Kim Clijsters. Both players were on an unbeaten streak; Venus had won her last 15 matches in a row with Clijsters winning the last 3 matches between these 2 players.
It was the longer streak that came to an end, when the 26 year old Clijsters posted her 4th win in succession against Venus. The dual US Open champion loves the American hard courts and has now levelled their head to head battles at 6 all. Clijsters won the Miami Open in 2005 and now has 2 Miami titles to her credit.
The 2009 US Open singles champion won 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes to claim her 37th career singles title, placing her in 3rd position amongst all the active women on tour in total career singles titles won. The 1.74m former World No.1 is now only behind Justine Henin with 41 and Venus who has 43 career titles.
The 1000 WTA ranking points that go to the winner moved the Belgian into the Top 10 as she continues her comeback. On triple championship point Clijsters converted to break the Venus serve at love, in a reflection of how dominant she was in the final. Clijsters won 5 of the 6 break points that she held against Venus, whereas Venus did not hold 1 break point against the Clijsters serve.
After the final, Clijsters commented on her successful game plan and intention to attack the Venus 2nd serve, “Yeah, you just want to try to even though she’s a great mover, you have to make her move. You just want to try [to] stay aggressive as well. When you see you have a chance on the second serve, really try and go for it and be dominant from that second serve onwards. Just try to base yourself inside the court and try to dictate the points from there.”
The 29 year old Venus, who is pictured above in the early stages of her powerful service action, was playing in her 4th final in Miami, having won this title in 1998, 1999 and 2001. The 7-time Grand Slam singles champion was forced into going for too much, due to the combination of the attacks, the great consistency and the enormous pressure her opponent created by covering the court so well.
After the match Venus said, “Maybe I should have went for a little less. Even when I was down I was still going for the shots. Maybe that wasn’t the exact right mentality today. Like I said, she played really consistently. Maybe she didn’t play a lot of winners, but she did try to force an error. So it was smart.”
As mentioned in the OCA Women’s Singles Final Preview, Venus loves to go after her shots but always walks a fine line between forcing too much and being successful in balancing her winners to unforced errors ratio.
In the final, the 1.85m American went over the edge hitting numerous unforced errors and frequently missing her 1st serve when she really needed it. Venus was happy with her overall performance in Miami where she earned 700 WTA ranking points and moved up to No.4 in the world.
Clijsters provided great insight into how she tries to improve her court coverage so she doesn’t have to do the splits as much as in the past, “That has also to do with the position on the court. The more you back off the more of an angle the opponents are gonna to be able to make. I think for me that’s something I’ve really been trying to focus on with my coach, with Wim, is really trying to stand on top of that baseline and dictate the rallies from there. That makes the okay, you have to react faster, but it makes the distance when you have to go for a wide shot a lot shorter.”
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further coverage and results at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Click this link for more details -> Miami 2010: March 22-April 4.
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