Clijsters retains title with one-sided win

The knives were out for Vera Zvonareva in the wake of her capitulation in the women's final at Flushing Meadows on Saturday night and there is no question that the Russian underperformed.

Kim Clijsters' 6-2, 6-1 victory in just 59 minutes was the most one-sided US Open final in 34 years and Zvonareva's performance was hugely disappointing, not only for her but for all supporters of women's tennis.

But the effort Zvonareva put in to reach her second straight Grand Slam final and the way she dismantled the game of top seed Caroline Wozniacki to get there should not be forgotten.

A one-sided final never looks good, of course, but the women's game is too often an easy target. After all, no-one lambasted Mikhail Youzhny after he was hammered by an utterly ruthless Rafael Nadal in the last four of the men's event.

Zvonareva knows she did not play anywhere near her best and admitted her frustration afterwards. But even if she had have been on top form, it still might not have been good enough to overcome Clijsters, who must wish every Grand Slam event was played here. The Belgian successfully defended the title she won 12 months ago, and all three of her Grand Slam victories have come at the US Open.

It seems strange to think that Clijsters used to be thought of as something of a choker, someone who would buckle at the very top level. She lost her first four Grand Slam finals and was fortunate that when she broke the duck at Flushing Meadows in 2003, she did so by beating France's Mary Pierce and not one of the Williams sisters.

But since returning from a two-year break in which she had her first child, everything has changed. Her victory here last year was remarkable in that it was just her third tournament back, but one year on, especially with the injured Serena Williams missing, she was expected to win and she did so.

Clijsters says she wants to play at least until the Olympics in London in 2012, so there is time aplenty for her to win more Grand Slam titles, something that would put her higher up in the record books.

"It's not that I think about that but maybe when I'm older and retired, I'm sure it will be nice," said Clijsters, too modest to admit she thinks too much about her place in history. "But it's not that that's something I'm trying to achieve once I'm out on court."

Clijsters has always been one of the fittest and fastest players on tour but what was equally encouraging was that she found a way to win the title even though she arrived in New York with one or two question marks surrounding her form.

"I wasn't playing my best tennis when I wanted to at the beginning," she admitted. "But I was able to lift my game in the last two matches when I needed to, and that is probably what I'm most pleased with over these last 14 days here."

Well, that and winning another Grand Slam title.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash