Clijsters beats Sharapova

Hong Kong, January 6:

Belgium’s Kim Clijsters made a winning start to her final season, beating world No 2 Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (8) in the final of the Champions Challenge exhibition tournament. Clijsters rallied from 2-3 down to win the first set with an ace. At 6-6 in the second set, Sharapova squandered a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker with three consecutive errors. Clijsters hit a backhand winner to save set point, a mishit backhand by Sharapova gave her match point, then the Belgian hit a forehand volley winner.

Safina wins

Gold Coast: Dinara Safina of Russia took advantage of Martina Hingis’ double fault in the last game to beat the Swiss star 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the Australian Women’s Hardcourt final. The top-seeded Hingis double-faulted at 0-30 in the 12th game of the deciding set to set up match point. Safina won the match on the next point.

ASB Classic

AUCKLAND: No 12 Jelena Jankovic beat No 5 Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (9), 5-7, 6-3 to win the $145,000 ASB Tennis Classic on Saturday.