Clijsters finishes season on a high but Wozniacki ends up at the summit

Caroline Wozniacki ended the year as the world No 1 but it was Kim Clijsters who left Doha with the title at the WTA Championships yesterday. The 27-year-old Belgian, who also won $1.45m (£900,000) in prize money, beat Wozniacki 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in a final of rapidly changing fortunes.

Clijsters, who last won the season-ending finale seven years ago, dominated the first set and the start of the second, but from 1-4 down Wozniacki showed great resilience to fight her way back into the match. When the 20-year-old Dane broke serve in the opening game of the deciding set to lead for the first time, it seemed that the pendulum had swung her way decisively, but Clijsters hit back immediately and made what proved to be a decisive second break to lead 4-2.

When serving at 5-3 Clijsters had another wobble, but Wozniacki was unable to convert any of the three break points she created. Clijsters double-faulted on her first match point, but a smash set up her second, which she converted with a service winner.

"At the moment, I'm just relieved it's over," the world No 3 said when interviewed on court after the match. "It seemed like it wasn't going to end. I thought we showed the crowd some really good women's tennis tonight.

"It was a really tough battle with some great shots, great tennis and great fitness. I'm glad that I won. Obviously it's disappointing for Caroline, but I don't know how many more years I'm going to keep doing this. She has a great future ahead of her."

Clijsters, who was playing her first tournament for two months following an operation to remove a mole from her right foot, has won this title on two previous occasions.

Her victory rounded off another fine year following her comeback two summers ago. Her season highlights included her second successive victory at the US Open as well as yesterday's triumph.

Wozniacki, who appeared to be exhausted at the end, has been the most consistent player on the women's tour this year. She has yet to win a Grand Slam title, but can relish her achievement in finishing the season as world No 1, having held off Vera Zvonareva's challenge to her position in the final week. "It's been a fantastic week for me," Wozniacki said. "Kim just played amazingly today and she deserved to win."

Andy Murray faces a tricky first-round match against Spain's Feliciano Lopez as he begins his defence of the Valencia Open title this week. Murray is seeded to meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals, Fernando Verdasco or Nikolay Davydenko in the semi-finals and Robin Soderling in the final.

Ross Hutchins, Murray's occasional doubles partner, won the second ATP title of his career in Montpellier yesterday. Hutchins and the Australian Stephen Huss beat Eduardo Schwank and Marc Lopez 6-2, 4-6, 10-7. Hutchins, who will team up with Scotland's Colin Fleming next year, won his only other doubles title with Huss in Beijing two years ago.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices