Clijsters, Wozniacki Meet for US Open Title
Wildcard Kim Clijsters, playing in her first US Open since winning the title in 2005, enters the final having won 13- straight matches at the US Open; and 19 of her last 20 US Open matches, with her only loss in that stretch coming in the 2003 final against Henin.
Clijsters advances to the final as an unseeded player. The last unseeded player to reach the final of a Grand Slam was S.Williams at the 2007 Australian Open (d. Sharapova). The last unseeded player to reach the final at the US Open was V.Williams in 1997 (l. to Hingis). Before Clijsters, the most recent wildcard to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam was Zheng Jie (2008 Wimbledon).
Clijsters is bidding for her second career Grand Slam singles title (2005 US Open). She is also a four-time Grand Slam runner-up.
Until this week, Caroline Wozniacki was the highest-ranked player on Tour yet to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal (now world No.18 Virginie Razzano holds that distinction).
Wozniacki is the first Dane, man or woman, to reach the finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era. In the pre-Open Era, Kurt Nielsen from Denmark was a two-time runner-up in the Wimbledon men’s singles in 1953 and 1955. Among Scandinavian women, Norway’s Molla Bjurstedt won the US Open women’s title in 1915-1918; following marriage she went on to win further titles representing the USA as Molla Mallory.
Wozniacki has won the most matches on Tour so far this season (62), followed by Dinara Safina (54) and Elena Dementieva (51).
Wozniacki has advanced to the final conceding only one set, while Clijsters has lost two.
Clijsters is gunning to become the first mother to win a Grand Slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who went all the way to the 1980 Wimbledon title.
No player ranked outside the Top 10 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings has ever won the US Open. The lowest ranked player ever to win the US Open (since 1976) has been No.9 Svetlana Kuznetsova (2004). Besides Kuznetsova, only one other player ranked outside the Top 5 has ever won the US Open (1999, No.7 S.Williams).
Clijsters is one of only six players to have defeated both Williams sisters at the same tournament. Following her win over S.Williams in the semifinals, and V. Williams in the 4r, she is now the only player to have done this twice.
Reaching the semifinals saw Clijsters’ career prize money exceed $15 million, winning the title would push her past $16 million.
Wozniacki has passed $2 million in career earnings by reaching the final.
Wozniacki is aiming to become the 37th woman in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam singles title, but only the eighth to win their first at the US Open.
Belgium is represented in the women’s singles final of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2007 US Open, when Henin won the title.
Clijsters enters the final with a 101-25 (.802) record at Grand Slams. She is 93-9 (.911) when winning the first set of a Grand Slam singles match (NOTE: win-loss records are reflective of main draw matches only). (WTA)
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