| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

KIm Clijsters was dominant Saturday night in defeating Vera Zvonareva in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 en route to her second consecutive U.S. Open title. The match took just 59 min. to complete and Clijsters was in control from start to finish and dictated play in almost every point. The win gave Clijsters a second consecutive U.S. Open championship and third overall.

Clijsters is the first woman since Venus Williams in 2000-2001 to win the title in Flushing Meadows two years in a row. And Clijsters’ U.S. Open winning streak is up to 21 matches as she also won the 2005 title. She missed the tournament in 2006 because of injuries, including wrist surgery, and skipped the following two years while taking time off as she was married and started a family.

Clijsters exhibited great footwork and athleticism throughout the match, as she would scramble to balls that seemed out of her reach and get them back, sometimes doing full splits along the baseline.

Zvonareva lost her emotions as the match continued to get out of her reach. When Zvonareva failed to get to a backhand and fell behind 40-love in the opening game of the second set, she cracked her racket against the court twice, breaking it, and earning a warning from the chair umpire. She also yelled at herself after two unforced errors in the second game of that set, and proceeded to double-fault to get broken at love and trail 2-0. All things considered, it was nothing compared to the tantrum Zvonareva threw in her fourth-round loss at last year’s U.S. Open, when she wasted six match points. She bawled. She pounded her palm on her leg while sitting on the court. She slammed her racket against her leg. She begged the chair umpire to let her have some scissors so she could cut tape off her knees.

Clijsters was awarded $2.2 million—the winner’s check of $1.7 million, plus another $500,000 for finishing second in the U.S. Open Series standings that take into account hard-court tuneup tournaments.