Clijsters inches toward No. 1
Murray said playing for a title against Federer was more memorable than making the third round at Wimbledon. “I was not expected to reach the finals in the start of the tournament,” he said. “Only at 18 and to play the finals of an ATP tournament gives me a lot of confidence for the future.” Korea Open Hard-serving Nicole Vaidisova rallied past top-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia-Montenegro, 7-5, 6-3, to win in Seoul, beating a weakened opponent who almost quit. Vaidisova, a 16-year-old Czech seeded second, entertained the crowd by grunting, yelling and punching the air in winning her second WTA title. She reached the fourth round of last month’s U.S. Open and made the third round of Wimbledon. “It was definitely a little shaky,” she said. “There were a lot of shots I could have done. … But on the key points I played better.” Other events Russia’s Igor Andreev rebounded from a first-set wipeout to defeat Italy’s Filippo Volandri at the Palmero International in Sicily, 0-6, 6-1, 6-3, in the final for his second ATP title. China’s Yan Zi won her first WTA singles title, capturing the Guangzhou (China) International when Spain’s Nuria Llagostera Vives stopped in the second set because of a strained left hamstring. Jonas Bjorkman defeated third-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 7-6 (4), to win the inaugural Vietnam Open for his first ATP title since 2002. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The Belgian held the No. 1 ranking briefly in 2003 but sat out almost the entire 2004 season with a wrist injury. Clijsters won 195 points this weekend and plans to play at next week’s tournament in Filderstadt, Germany. Sharapova has 4,808 points, followed by Davenport with 4,619 and Clijsters with 4,201. Sharapova withdrew from the China Open last week because of a chest injury and Davenport because of back problems. Thailand Open Roger Federer captured the tournament for the second straight year, defeating British teenager Andy Murray, 6-3, 7-5. Federer, ranked No. 1, has won 24 consecutive ATP finals, including seven this season. “I had to work hard to get to this point,” Federer said. “There are tough challengers, but not this week. I’m amazed with myself, and hopefully I’ll keep doing this in the future.” Clijsters, who won her first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open, used a strong backhand to pressure Groenefeld and hit two aces to end the first set. Groenefeld regrouped and tied it 4-4 in the second, but the top-seeded Clijsters stepped up her game. Clijsters beat Groenefeld in their only other meeting in July, winning, 6-4, 6-0, in a semifinal in Stanford. Kim Clijsters moved closer to reclaiming the No. 1 ranking, defeating Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany, 6-2, 6-4, Sunday to win the Fortis Championships a fifth time. The third-ranked Belgian has won 26 of 27 matches and is closing in on top-ranked Maria Sharapova and No. 2 Lindsay Davenport, both of whom are injured.