Kvitova stuns Clijsters in Paris

Czech player claims her third WTA Tour title with a straightforward victory over new world number one at Paris Open.

Petra Kvitova
 Petra Kvitova takes another step towards the world’s top ten [AFP]

Petra Kvitova continued her impressive season recording a win over world number one Kim Clijsters in the final of the Paris Open on Sunday.

The Czech fourth seed and world number 18 won the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to add a famous scalp to her growing list.

In the Netherlands, French Open finalist Robin Soderling retained his World Tennis Tournament title with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Sheer power

Top seed Clijsters, who retained her US Open title in September and won the Australian Open last month before helping Belgium into the Fed Cup last four, secured her place as the new number one by reaching the semi-finals at the Stade Coubertin.

However, her winning streak came to a sudden halt as the confident Kvitova took her third career title thanks to sheer power and superb returns on the fast hardcourt.

“It’s nice to win today against Kim because she is world number one, I think it’s my biggest achievement,” Kvitova, 20, said in a courtside interview.

“It’s not logical, I lost my last two matches against Kim so I’m glad I won today.”

Clijsters had come back from adversity in the previous rounds of the $618,000 tournament, now run by former French world number one Amelie Mauresmo, but she had no answer to the Czech star.

Kvitova broke Clijsters in the first game, thanks to a lucky net cord, only for the Belgian to break back immediately with a superb backhand down the line.

Clijsters began to get her serve working but she could do nothing to stop Kvitova’s flashing return to break again and go 3-2 up before securing the set when Clijsters netted.

The favourite settled more into her rhythm in the second set but sent an easy volley into the net to be broken in the seventh game and Kvitova, one of the best returners on the circuit and a name to watch, sealed the title with another break.

Soderling victory

In Rotterdam, world number four Robin Soderling, the top seed, ran his record over Tsonga to 4-0 after losing his first set in the series.

The Swede, retaining a title for the first time in his career, now owns eight trophies from 18 ATP finals.

Tsonga, seeded eighth, was denied his sixth career title after winning his last in October 2009 in Tokyo, venue for his last final.

The defeat was only his second in a final after losing the 2008 Australian Open trophy match to Novak Djokovic.

Soderling claimed victory in one hour 22 minutes, but was out-aced by Tsonga 20 to 12.

The Swede claimed the opening set after losing an early break but getting it back in the eighth game. Tsonga answered to level the match in the second set, carrying momentum from a 4-2 lead over Soderling.

The Scandinavian top seed re-asserted his big game in the third, moving into position with a break for 5-3 and serving out his 13th win of the year from 14 matches. 

Source: News Agencies