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Clijsters snaps Venus' winning streak
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 04 - 04 - 2010

Belgian Kim Clijsters brought a swift end to Venus Williams' 15-match winning streak with a 6-2, 6-1 win in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open final Saturday.
The 14th seed needed only 58 minutes to defeat the third-seeded American, who played with bandaging on both legs and said afterwards she may have trained too hard during the tournament.
The match was reminiscent of last year's final at Key Biscayne when Venus' sister Serena, also looking short of fitness, surrendered in similar fashion to Belarussian Victoria Azarenka.
Venus said she had worn the bandaging on her legs as she felt her knees, a frequent source of trouble, needed extra support.
She also said may have overdone her practice routine during the tournament.
Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India won the men's doubles after defeating Mahesh Bhupathi of India and Max Mirnyi of Belarus.
On Friday, Andy Roddick rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal Friday to line up a Sony Ericsson Open final against Tomas Berdych.
While Roddick had to come from a set down in his semifinal, 16th-seeded Berdych kept his fine run going by beating Sweden's Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-2, having previously eliminated top-ranked Roger Federer in the fourth round.
A willingness to gamble was the key to Roddick's place in Sunday's final against his Czech oppnent.
Once the American fell behind, he became more aggressive, even following his second serve to the net on occasions.
The momentum turned when he won the last 11 points of the second set, including a 143-mph (230-kph) serve - fastest of the tournament - for a winner on the final point to even the match.
Roddick kept coming, winning 12 points at the net in the final set as he countered Nadal's power play. He also put more power into his forehand, especially on returns. To the delight of traditionalists, Roddick played serve and volley 10 times. There are even rumors he'll use a wood racket in the final.
Berdych broke serve four times and faced only one break point against Soderling.
The Czech's only other Masters 1000 final was in 2005, when he won the Paris title. He will play in his first US final. “You feel well on the court and build your confidence - that's what's happening,” Berdych said. “It's small things put together, and that makes a pretty good game for me.”


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