Kvitova upsets Clijsters 6-4, 6-3 in Paris final
Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters lost to Petra Kvitova of
the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Open Gaz de France
Clijsters still will unseat Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark as the
top-ranked player when the new rankings are released Monday.
”I think in the past matches where I beat her, she showed some
of the best tennis but it wasn’t quite consistent,” said
Clijsters, who won their two previous meetings. ”Today she was
very consistent in her level, so she deserved to win because she
The Belgian slammed an ace to save a match point, but Kvitova
converted her second match point with a forehand winner.
”I would like to dedicate this trophy to my grandfather, who
passed away last week,” Kvitova said. ”I played for my
grandfather. I’m happy I won the tournament for him.”
The victory is not a complete surprise. Kvitova has won 16 of 17
matches this season and won the WTA Newcomer of the Year award last
”You’ve been playing some great tennis over the last year, but
I think in these last two months you’ve improved so much,”
Clijsters told Kvitova on court. ”So I wish you nothing but the
best for the future.”
The 20-year-old Kvitova will climb to No. 14 in the rankings
Monday and is a left-hander like her idol, Martina Navratilova.
”I played very well against Kim – I’m surprised,” Kvitova
said. ”I knew I had to play my game, fast and hard. I had to be
the first who made the big shot.”
Kvitova put the top-seeded Clijsters under pressure with her
powerful serve and deep shots.
The fourth-seeded Kvitova cracked a forehand return winner to
lead 1-0 in the second set. But Clijsters broke back in the next
game when Kvitova sent a backhand wide.
Clijsters then missed a routine forehand volley to give the
Czech a 4-3 lead.
In the first set, Clijsters dropped serve in the opening game
when a backhand slice from Kvitova caught the tape before dropping
on the other side of the net.
But Clijsters whipped a backhand pass down the line to break
back in the next game.
Kvitova hit a backhand return winner to lead 3-2 and took the
first set when Clijsters sent a backhand into the net.
”She was putting so much pressure on me,” Clijsters said.
”She was serving extremely well, so it was very hard for me to
return aggressively, which is something you have to do against
Kvitova served 10 aces to only one for Clijsters.
”She has such powerful and easy groundstrokes that come very
deep as well,” Clijsters said. ”It’s very hard to get out of that
once she’s pushing into that zone.”
Earlier Sunday, Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann
Shaughnessy won their first doubles title together by beating Vera
Dushevina and Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-4, 6-2.