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Holder Clijsters defends U.S. Open title

Kim Clijsters successfully defended her U.S. Open title after a comfortable final victory over Vera Zvonareva.
Kim Clijsters successfully defended her U.S. Open title after a comfortable final victory over Vera Zvonareva.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kim Clijsters successfully defends her women's singles title at the U.S. Open
  • The Belgian second seed crushes seventh seed Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-1
  • Clijsters is first woman to win back-to-back U.S. Opens since Venus Williams in 2001
  • Zvonareva has now lost successive grand slam finals after her Wimbledon defeat

(CNN) -- Belgian Kim Clijsters overpowered seventh seed Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-1 in exactly one hour to successfully defend her women's singles title at the U.S. Open and win her third overall at the tournament.

The lopsided win makes the second-seeded Clijsters the first woman to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles since Venus Williams did so in 2000 and 2001.

Clijsters also won the 2005 title before retiring the next year for a three-year period.

Russian Zvonareva started off well before being two backhand errors broke her to 2-4. She went on to lose the first set with a backhand into the net.

The second set went in similar form for Zvonareva and Clijsters eventually dominated the match, going on to win 78 per cent on her first serves.

The 27-year-old married mother will receive $2.2 million for her win.

I was able to lift my game in the last two matches, when I needed to
--Kim Clijsters
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"I wasn't playing my best tennis at the beginning of the tournament, but I was able to lift my game in the last two matches, when I needed to," Clijsters told the official WTA Tour website.

"That's probably what I'm most pleased about over these last 14 days, that I was able to do that."

Clijsters had beaten the third seeded Williams to reach the final, Clijsters' fifth straight hardcourt win over the American.

For Wimbledon runner-up Zvonareva, it was her second successive grand slam final after stunning top seed Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in the semifinals.