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Clijsters a doubt for French Open

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Originally published on: 06/04/11 12:48

Already out for up to a month with shoulder and wrist injuries, Kim Clijsters is now set to miss the French Open after injuring her ankle at a cousin’s wedding.

The world No.2 was already certain to miss Belgium’s Fed Cup semi-final against the Czech Republic and the Madrid Open in the first week of May, but had hoped to return in time for the clay tournament in Rome to give her ample time to prepare for Roland Garros. But according to her website, her chances of playing at the French Open have plummetted.

“Kim has injured her ankle. She won’t be able to compete for four to six weeks. Her participation in the French Open is no longer certain,” said a statement on her website.

“At the wedding party of her cousin Tim, Kim injured her ankle severely. The consequences are rather dire. Kim’s ankle is now completely immobilised and she cannot use her foot for a few days.”

Roland Garros is already without 13-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who also suffered a serious injury off the court last July when she cut her foot on broken glass in a Munich restaurant.

For Clijsters, meanwhile, the news amplifies her existing shoulder and wrist injuries, which came about after a heavy schedule so far this year.

While she had promised to go easy with her schedule this year in order to spend more time with her family and remain fit for the major tournaments, Clijsters has crammed a lot of matches in to 2011. The 27-year-old reached the final of three of the five tournaments she has played in 2011 as well as guiding Belgium to the Fed Cup semis with victory over the USA.

The cracks started to show in Indian Wells, when she withdrew midway through her fourth round clash with Marion Bartoli because of a shoulder injury, before losing to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals in Miami.

“I felt something was not quite right,” admitted Clijsters. “There were too many successive aches and pains that just didn’t want to disappear. It gets into your head.”

The initial injury came as a particular blow to Belgium’s Fed Cup team. At the start of the year they had two of the game’s greats leading the line, but after Justine Henin’s second retirement, and Clijsters’ injury, Belgium will have to rely on world No.23 Yanina Wickmayer and No.103 Kirsten Flipkens. No small feat, given that the Czech team have nine players inside the world’s top 100 to call on.

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