The 14th and final Major Tournament for the women’s professional tennis tour is the end of year WTA Tour Finals. Due to title sponsorship naming rights the official name is the Sony Ericsson Championships. This tournament is the pinnacle of the tennis calendar, with all events this year building to this showdown between the world’s best female players.
In no other tournament are you required to beat at least 4 if not 5 of the world’s Top 10 ranked players to win the title! The total prize money for the women’s singles champion is $1,450,000 for either player who wins because they have both lost one match this week. The runner-up will earn 780,000 US dollars. The WTA Tour Finals have been held since 1972 and this year is the third and final year that it will be held in Doha, Qatar at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex.
The Women’s Singles Final will commence at 6:15pm local time in Doha with No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki (pictured above) playing against No.3 seed Kim Clijsters who both finished second in their groups after the round robin.
The OnCourt Advantage pre-tournament predictions for who would make the semi finals and who would play in the final were VERY accurate, to see who was predicted to win these matches click-> here.
The first semi final yesterday saw No.3 seed Kim Clijsters defeat No.5 seed Samantha Stosur in a rematch of the 2010 US Open quarter finals 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 in 1 hour and 26 minutes. Clijsters is a triple US Open champion and will be playing for her third WTA Tour Finals singles championship title. The 27 year old Clijsters has defeated 3 Top 10 opponents this week and only lost to World No.2 Vera Zvonareva.
The 1.74m Belgian is playing her seventh WTA Championships and is a former World No.1. Clijsters will be going for her fifth singles title this year when she takes on World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the Women’s Singles Final today at 6pm. Clijsters has 39 career WTA singles titles making her 4 titles behind the current leader of active players on the WTA Tour – Venus Williams.
The second semi final was between World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and No.2 Vera Zvonareva in a rematch of the 2010 US Open semi finals, which Zvonareva won. The 20 year old Wozniacki won her third match against Zvonareva this year to move to a 4-3 advantage over her Russian opponent. The 1.77m Wozniacki from Denmark saved a set point in the first set (just as Clijsters did in her first set), then never looked back recording a 7-5 6-0 victory in 1 hour and 24 minutes.
Wozniacki has won over 10 more matches than the next best player (Zvonareva), at 51 main draw match wins on the WTA Tour. This is a testament to her to ability to prove that she can reproduce high quality performances and know how to succeed at the critical stages. Wozniacki has a 62-16 win-loss record and Clijsters has 39-7 record to date in 2010.
Wozniacki has already won 12 career WTA titles with a WTA-high 6 singles titles in 2010. Wozniacki is continually improving her game and her results having achieved her best result at the WTA Championships by making the final in only her second year of qualifying for this exclusive and elite tournament.
A very interesting factor in the final will be how Wozniacki’s game matches up against the game style of Clijsters. Wozniacki will probably have more trouble beating Clijsters than any other opponent because their games are SO similar it is uncanny. Clijsters has an extra 7 years of experience, physical training to build her power, to develop variety and to fine-tune her game.
This distinct advantage enables Clijsters to know how to find the correct balance of aggressive plays with consistent stroke making and when to vary her strategy to turn pivotal games in her favour. Wozniacki has a tremendous double-handed backhand that gives her the edge in backhand-to-backhand duels, except against Clijsters who can routinely play even more consistently from that wing and create even greater angles.
To reverse the result of their only meeting thus far, Wozniacki has to maintain her supreme confidence and body language throughout, make her break point opportunities count and dictate the point as often as she can. Watch to see whether she has the range on her down-the-line backhand as a barometer to her success. She will need that shot firing to in order to avoid too many cross-court backhand duels against Kim.
We will keep you updated here at OCA with the scores as the final progresses today and the result one second after the match is completed right here on this post. This 2009 US Open singles final rematch between Wozniacki and Clijsters was my original pre-tournament prediction as was Wozniacki winning the final, so Wozniacki to win in what is hopefully THE best match of the year!
Wozniacki won the toss and elected to serve. Clijsters won the first set 6-3 by breaking Wozniacki’s serve after converting her third set point. Clijsters to serve first in the second set…1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 4-2…5-5, 5-6 Wozniacki converts 2nd set point for 5-7. Clijsters to serve first in the deciding set…0-1, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 4-2, 5-2, 5-3, 6-3 on 2nd championship point and after first saving 3 break points.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for full coverage of every Grand Slam tournament and every major women’s and men’s tennis tournament on the WTA Tour and ATP Tours. Click this link for further details about the WTA Tour Finals -> WTA Tour Finals 2010: October 26-31.
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photo credit: angelicalbite