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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, 04:48 GMT
Clijsters crushes Mauresmo
Kim Clijsters
Belgium's Kim Clijsters thrashed Frenchwoman Amelie Maursemo in the final of the WTA Championships.

Clijsters beat Maursemo 6-2 6-0 on Monday in the season-ending tournament at Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

"From the start until the end I was very focused," said Clijsters, who wrapped up the match in 52 minutes. "I played my best tennis of the week."

Compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne clinched the end-of-season number one rank by reaching the semi-finals.

Clijsters took the number one spot from Serena Williams in August - the American has missed much of the year through injury.

"Of course it's a little disappointing, but at least I got to be number one," said Clijsters, who was playing in her 15th singles final of the season and claimed her ninth title of 2003.

I just have to congratulate Kim not only on the week she's had but also the whole year
Amelie Mauresmo
"And I end the year number two - that's not too bad."

With the $1m first prize, Clijsters also became the first woman player to earn more than $4m mark in a season.

Her winner's cheque was actually for $1,000,030 (599,378) - the extra 30 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the WTA Tour.

The Belgian had emerged from round-robin play undefeated, including a three-set win over Mauresmo.

The Frenchwoman, in contrast, had backed into the semi-finals when Elena Dementieva rallied in the final Red Group match to knock out Chanda Rubin and let Mauresmo in.

Clijsters dropped her serve in the opening game of the match, but that was the last break chance that Mauresmo was able to convert, although she had two in the second set.

She twice double faulted to give Clijsters set points in the final game of the first set, and on the second she sent a backhand wide.

"It's been a tough day for me," Mauresmo said. "I just have to congratulate Kim not only on the week she's had but also the whole year."


w/e 09 November 2003

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