Playing her first tournament since a four-month abdominal injury lay-off, Kim Clijsters had to give up her Brisbane International semifinal against Daniela Hantuchova because of a left hip injury, thus handing the Slovak her second straight uncompleted victory, as Serena Williams gave her a walkover in their quarterfinal due to an ankle problem.
Clijsters won the tiebreak 7-4 and already in that first set she felt stiffening, which was getting worse. She didn't want to risk and cause a complete spasm and muscle tear, so she stopped while trailing 3-1 in the second set.
Australian Open title defense is just a week and a half away for Clijsters. Tomorrow she will have an MRI to check the seriousness of the injury, but she's not blindly optimistic: "I don't doubt that there will be a problem once I start in Melbourne".
Hantuchova's opponent in the final will be Kaia Kanepi, who defeated Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-0 in the semifinals.
Additional info: The 2012 season has barely started, and it seems that my New Year's wishes are not coming true – injuries are already piling up. Besides Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, Sabine Lisicki is having a left abdominal muscle injury, Ksenia Pervak migrane, Polona Hercog low back injury, and not to mention Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova who have delayed their beginning of the season due to illness and injury. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)