Clijsters, Mauresmo to meet in Monday night showdown

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Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Defending champion will battle French star Monday night to decide the titlist at the $3 million WTA Championships. Clijsters, who headed to L.A. as the top-ranked player in the world, will finish the year No. 2 behind her fellow Belgian -Hardenne, who reached the semifinals here to overtake Clijsters for the top spot in the rankings. Henin-Hardenne was upset by Mauresmo in three sets in one of Sunday's semifinals here, while Clijsters overcame in three sets to reach her second straight final at the Staples Center.

Clijsters upset in last year's title match.

The top-seeded Clijsters is a perfect 4-0 versus the sixth-seeded Mauresmo this season, including a three-set victory during last week's round-robin portion of this season-ending event. The Belgian star is a dominant 6-2 lifetime in the series, with Mauresmo's last victory coming at last year's U.S. Open. Clijsters has won five straight and six-of-seven in the series.

Clijsters is seeking her ninth title of the year, while Mauresmo is looking for her third. Mauresmo, who titled in Philadelphia the week before this L.A. event commenced, will finish the year a career-best No. 4.

Monday's big winner will claim $1,000,030, the biggest paycheck in women's tennis. The extra $30 represents the 30th anniversary of the WTA Tour.

The 20-year-old Clijsters would become the first woman in sporting history to win over $4 million in a single season with a win Monday night. She will play her 15th final of the year (8-6), including runner-up finishes to Henin- Hardenne at the U.S. and French Opens.

The 24-year-old Mauresmo is 2-3 in her '03 finals, with her other victory coming in Warsaw.

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