The chance to claim a place among the greats of women’s tennis beckons for Kim Clijsters today as she bids to become only the fifth person in history to win three WTA Tour Championships.
The Belgian won the title in 2002 and 2003, the two previous occasions that she has reached the final, and if successful this afternoon, will achieve something that only Monica Seles has managed before – to complete her hat-trick without suffering one final loss.
It’s not going to be easy for Clijsters, as her opponent in the Doha finale is world number one Caroline Wozniacki. It will be the pair‘s first meeting this season, which is fairly unusual given that the match is effectively billed as a clash between the two players of the year.
Their one previous encounter came in the 2009 US Open Final, when Clijsters finally won a Grand Slam in her first major appearance after coming out of retirement with a 7-5 6-3 straight sets triumph.
Having enjoyed the greatest moment of her career against the 20-year-old Dane, it’s perhaps no surprise that the world number four is the 4/6 favourite to take the trophy, with Wozniacki 11/10 to secure arguably her most significant victory yet.
Neither woman has been flawless so far in the tournament, both being defeated in straight sets in the round robin against players their counterpart beat in the semi-finals, with Clijsters falling to Vera Zvonareva and Caroline Wozniacki outplayed by Sam Stosur.
Their semi-final successes were equally impressive though, as Wozniacki bettered her closest rival in the world rankings 7-5 6-0 and Clijsters recovering from the shock of a car crash on the way to her match with Stosur to conquer the Australian 7-6 6-1.
Both players have been taken the distance once in Doha, while four of the last six finals of this competition have been three-set affairs, so Clijsters at 11/4 to win 2-1 offers appeal.
Wozniacki is 10/3 to deliver in three sets. See the full Clijsters vs Wozniacki match betting odds market.