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Clijsters wins Stanford crown

July 31, 2006 11:39 IST

Top seed Kim Clijsters won her fourth Bank of the West Classic title with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over second seed Patty Schnyder in Sunday's final.

"I feel so familiar every time I come back here," Clijsters said after picking up her second trophy of the year.

"It feels comfortable. It's been like that from the first time I played here. Everything just comes together. When you feel good, you start to play better."

Rarely threatened during the contest, the Belgian tuned up for the defence of her US Open crown next month with an authoritative display.

Clijsters registered 19 winners to only eight from Schnyder and dominated on her service games, never facing a break point and winning 90 percent of her first serve points.

She tortured Schnyder by attacking the left-hander's backhand with sliced serves out wide.

"It was important to make first serves because she tries to play angles and build up her points," Clijsters said.

The left-handed Schnyder attempted to employ an aggressive approach against Clijsters but the move backfired as the Belgian proved to be up to the task.

"I never felt like I was in the match," said the eighth-ranked Schnyder. "She keeps pushing you."

Last season, world number two Clijsters won four titles on US hard courts during the summer swing, including her first grand slam title at Flushing Meadows.

This year, Clijsters has fallen in three grand slam semi-finals; to top ranked Amelie Mauresmo at the Australian Open, and to her compatriot, Justine Henin-Hardenne, at the French Open and Wimbledon.

After her recent disappointment on clay and grass, Clijsters believes her best chance of winning another Grand Slam will be on hard courts.

"This is the season I look forward to the most," she said. "My attitude is completely different than when I start the clay court season, when I say, 'Let's just get it over with.' Wimbledon is like the halfway point to the hard court season.

"Movement wise on hard courts, I feel much more comfortable than on any other surface."

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