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Clijsters a home winner in Antwerp


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BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) -- Belgium's world number two Kim Clijsters secured her first title on home soil with a 6-3 6-0 win against Italy's Silvia Farina Elia in the final of the Antwerp Diamond Games.

Clijsters followed up her success in last week's Paris Open to claim her 21st WTA singles title.

"It is great to play on home soil with 15,000 fans rooting for you I must say," said Clijsters, who was beaten by Venus Williams in last year's final.

She also lost to Iroda Tulyaganova in the only other final she has contested in Belgium in 2001.

"Playing Silvia is never easy. I knew from the start that she does not give away many points and I had to think a lot before attacking aggressively.

"The fact that I won in two sets and quite easily proves that I am in a good form." It was Clijsters's sixth successive victory over the Italian.

Clijsters broke Farina Elia's second service game but her opponent broke back immediately and it wasn't until the eighth game that the Belgian broke again to lead 5-3, from which she served out to take the set.

Hitting heavy topspin and long ground strokes Clijsters then romped through the second set as Farina Elia's resistance evaporated.

"Kim is strong all year round and I found she played her best tennis all week long in Antwerp," said the number eight seed.

"I fought very hard in the first set but then my energy left me."



Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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