Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Kim Clijsters Picks Up Another Injury In Toronto. What Happens Now?

After ankle and shoulder injuries left her out of action for most of the last 5 months, Kim Clijsters finally made her long-awaited return to action yesterday in Toronto. However she barely even lasted a set, and after winning the first over Zheng Jie 6-3, she was forced to retire early in the second set with a torn abdominal muscle.

‘During the match it just felt like it went worse,’ she said. ‘I already had an ultrasound here on site and I have a partial tear in my left stomach muscle and a little bit of blood.’

It’s all quite brutal for her, and it, of course, throws her US Open title defence into massive doubt. You have to think that she will withdraw from Cincinnati next week, meaning that she would go into the US Open having played only two matches since Miami. And we all saw how she fared with no matchplay at the French Open this year.

It also brings up the inescapable issue of retirement. Her comeback has been an incredible story straight out of a disney movie, but in the last 5 months the bubble has burst and she is back in the position and place she was in - spending more time nursing injuries than actually playing - when she initially decided to retire in 2007.

So much has been said about Clijsters’ candid answers when discussing her intention to retire and focus on her family sometime in the near future, and it could just be that all these separate injuries could lead her to reconsider even waiting as long as until after the Olympics to retire.

But then again, just look at Serena Williams. Back in her fourth tournament since a 12-month layoff and already she’s completely owning it, yesterday demolishing Alona Bondarenko 6-0 6-3 with the loss of only 4 points in a 16 minute first set. If that’s not inspiration and motivation for Clijsters, I don’t know what is.

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