Doha Sunday: Stage Set For Classic Final

In a rematch of the 2009 US Open final, Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters meet for season-ending glory on Sunday.

Published October 30, 2010 12:00

Doha Sunday: Stage Set For Classic Final
Khalifa Tennis Complex, Doha, Qatar

Preview - Final

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[3] Kim Clijsters (BEL #3) vs. [1] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #1)
Clijsters leads 1-0

Maybe it's because the first meeting between these two was that memorable US Open final last year, but it's hard to believe they are colliding for just the second time. In any case this is a fitting climax, given Wozniacki leads the title count in 2010, with six, ahead of Clijsters' four. The fact that they didn't play each other in the round robin only adds to the sense of anticipation, and there's every reason to believe in the match's epic potential.

Kudos to Wozniacki, the youngest finalist at this event since Sharapova beat Serena for the title in 2004, for putting aside the fuss about her No.1 ranking to deliver the goods - especially against Zvonareva, the red-hot No.2, in yesterday's semis. Only 11 times in 34 years has the top seed failed to reach the final of the WTA Championships, and the 20-year-old has successfully kept herself off that list. Today, she'll need to channel her second set effort against Zvonareva, in which she won 24 of 28 points - a stark contrast to a first set littered with 20 unforced errors.

Equally imperious against Stosur in the second half of their semifinal, Clijsters has, of course, been in this situation before, winning these championships back-to-back in 2002 and 2003. But while she prevailed at Flushing Meadows 14 months ago, the 27-year-old will surely feel the evolution of her young opponents' game since then. Question is, has retriever-queen Wozniacki's arsenal - and big-stage savvy - strengthened sufficiently to unsettle Clijsters if the Belgian is playing clean as a whistle?

Hot Stats: Should she win today, Clijsters will be the fifth player to win the WTA Championships at least three times, after Navratilova (8), Graf (5), Evert (4) and Seles (3). Adding to her growing list of national firsts, Wozniacki would be the first Dane to lift the trophy.

- Adam Lincoln

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