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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005, 01:31 GMT 02:31 UK
Clijsters sweeps to US Open title
Kim Clijsters
Kim Clijsters finally ended her search for a Grand Slam title as she beat Mary Pierce to win the US Open on Saturday.

The Belgian dominated from the outset, breaking three times in the first set and twice in the second on her way to a 6-3 6-1 win.

Clijsters then leapt into the crowd to celebrate with her family and coach.

"It's very hard to believe and an amazing feeling to have," she said. "After being out for so much of last year it's a little bit more special."

And as the winner of the summer's US Open Series, Clijsters doubles her prize money to US$2.2m.

Clijsters had lost in four Grand Slam finals and missed much of 2004 with a career-threatening wrist injury.

I just proved to myself that I can do it
Kim Clijsters

But she has returned better than ever this year and claimed her seventh title of 2005 with her 17th consecutive win.

Pierce reached the French Open final in June but suffered a humiliating defeat, and she must have feared a repeat when Clijsters broke serve immediately.

The Belgian is at her best when playing at a fast tempo and she was out of the blocks quickly.

Both players were able to trade huge groundstrokes but Clijsters' extra speed and movement gave her the edge.

She's a great girl, you know. She's a champion
Mary Pierce

She soon had a double break and absorbed the loss of her own serve at 4-1 comfortably, wrapping up the set and breaking at the start of the second.

Clijsters raced away and the only danger seemed to be the possibility of the Belgian choking with victory in sight.

Serving for the title she faced a break point but came through, converting her second match point with an unreturnable serve and heading into the stands to find her supporters.

"She's a great girl, you know," said Pierce afterwards. "She's a champion.

"She's been number one in the world, now she has a Grand Slam title to her name. I'm happy for her."

News conference: Kim Clijsters

News conference: Mary Pierce

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