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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007, 15:39 GMT
Mauresmo beats Clijsters in final
Amelie Mauresmo
Mauresmo won a diamond-encrusted racquet worth US$1.3m
Top seed Amelie Mauresmo spoiled Kim Clijsters' last appearance on home soil with a straight-sets win in the Diamond Games final in Antwerp.

Mauresmo won 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to become the first player to win a hat-trick of Antwerp titles, and for that feat also won a diamond-studded racquet trophy.

"I said all week I didn't think about it, but honestly I thought about it the whole week," said Mauresmo.

Clijsters was playing her last match in Belgium before retiring later in 2007.

"It was a very emotional day," said Clijsters. "I tried as hard as I could but Amelie was very strong today and really dominated.

"We put on a match of a very high level which gives me confidence for the rest of the season."

Despite the warm words from Clijsters, the 15,000 sell-out crowd made their feelings known throughout the match, notably when Mauresmo won the penultimate point in the tie-break.

"It's a bit difficult for me now because I know you are all very disappointed," Mauresmo told the crowd.

"I am sorry. I understand, Kim is a great champion."

Kim Clijsters
Amelie is someone who brings a lot to tennis on a sporting and human level

Kim Clijsters

Clijsters was always struggling in a match littered with errors, and the 23-year-old Belgian lost her opening service game before breaking back in the fourth game.

But her serve soon let her down again as Mauresmo took the first set, before both players broke serve twice in the second.

Clijsters fought back from two break points down in the tie-break to level at 4-4 before Mauresmo won three points in a row.

"Enjoy the beautiful racquet, you deserve it and I am sure it will find a nice place in your house," said Clijsters.

"You always play well here and you are a terrific player."

And the Belgian confirmed that she plans to skip the clay-court season to concentrate on Wimbledon, with her only firm plan beyond that being to marry American basketball player Brian Lynch.

"No I won't be playing the French Open," she said. "I have always suffered on clay and the time to prepare between Roland Garros and Wimbledon is very short.

"Wimbledon is my goal and so I want to give myself every chance there and will be getting in plenty of practice on grass before then."

SEE ALSO
Clijsters reaches Antwerp semis
16 Feb 07 |  Tennis


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