2010 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Finals
Venus Williams (USA) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)
Venus extended her 2010 winning streak to 15 matches with her straight set victory over Marion Bartoli in the semifinals. Nine years after taking home her third title in Miami, Venus is back in the finals and is looking for her fourth. Her serve has been outstanding throughout the tournament and that proved to be the biggest factor against Bartoli.
Clijsters won the “Clash of the Belgians” in the semis, beating Justine Henin 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-6(6) in a thrilling match. It looked as though Clijsters was going to win easily, after taking the first set and then going up 3-0 in the second, but Henin battled back. Even in the third-set tiebreaker there was drama as Clijsters was up 6-3 before Henin tied it at 6-6, but in the end Clijsters had too much.
This will be the 12th meeting between Venus and Clijsters with Venus holding a 6-5 edge in their previous meetings. Their last encounter came in the 2009 US Open fourth round, with Clijsters winning 6-0, 0-6, 6-4 en route to the championship. This is going to be one heck of a match between two of the best players in the world. Clijsters was up-and-down throughout her win over Henin in the semis. One second she looked like she was going to run away with it, and then the next she couldn’t keep the ball in play. This took a lot out of her both physically and emotionally and that isn’t good when you are playing someone like Venus.
As I mentioned above, Venus’ serve has been outstanding throughout and if she continues to serve like that in this match, she is going to be tough to beat. Both girls cover the court remarkably well and both have big-time groundstrokes from both sides. Venus can be inconsistent with her forehand, but then again, so can Clijsters. I think the difference in this match will be Venus’ serve and I give a slight edge to her.
Nick’s Pick – V. Williams in 3 sets