Although Clijsters retained the top ranking on the WTA Tour, Henin-Hardenne made sure her rival remained empty-handed in Grand Slam events since she also posted a 6-0, 6-4 triumph over Clijsters in the French Open final.
Henin-Hardenne displayed her usual quickness and punishing groundstrokes despite needing treatment from severe cramping following Friday's three-hour, three-set semifinal victory over Jennifer Capriati.
The 21-year-old, considered questionable at the start of the day, was on the practice courts late Saturday afternoon and dispelled any notion that she would not compete.
The victory ended the four-year run of the Williams sisters at the U.S. Open. Neither was in the draw due to injury.