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.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice