Kim Clijsters showed no mercy to a struggling Venus Williams as she won the women’s final of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami today.
Clijsters, the 14th seed, triumphed 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes as third seed Williams was clearly troubled by her heavily strapped left knee in the Florida sunshine.
It was the Belgian’s 37th career singles title, her second of 2010 after her win in Brisbane in January and her third since returning to tennis following a period of self-imposed exile by memorably winning the 2009 US Open.
Williams had defeated Sorana Cirstea, Roberta Vinci, Daniella Hantuchova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Marion Bartoli en route to the final as part of a 15-match winning streak and was seeking a 44th career singles title.
Clijsters, meanwhile, overcame Petra Kvitova, Shahar Peer, Victoria Azarenka, Samantha Stosur and Justine Henin to set up the meeting with the American.
Clijsters claimed an early break in the third game of the first set to move into the ascendancy and Williams had brief treatment on her heavily strapped left knee and right thigh.
Her mobility was clearly impaired and she was unable to demonstrate her usual power as Clijsters swiftly went 3-1 ahead by holding her own serve.
The 26-year-old then broke Williams for a three-game advantage.
The next two games went with serve before Clijsters served out the opening set in 29 minutes.
Williams’ wayward serving continued in the second set as she found herself broken again in the first and third games and fell 4-0 behind.
Williams rallied late on, winning her third service game of the second set, but the match had already been lost.
Clijsters served to within one game of victory, which duly came when she emphatically broke Williams to love in the final game.