Clijsters' U.S. Open defense clouded by hip injury
By Steve Keating
MONTREAL (Reuters) - An injured Kim Clijsters hobbled to a 2-6 6-3 6-2 quarter-final loss to Vera Zvonareva at the Montreal Cup on Friday, casting doubt on the Belgian's ability to defend her U.S. Open crown.
Clijsters later played down the injury she described as tightness in her left hip, saying she will undergo an MRI next week to make sure it is nothing serious.
The Belgian made it clear she intends to be Flushing Meadows to launch her title defense.
"Don't worry, there's no doubt in my mind (I will be at the U.S. Open)," Clijsters told reporters. "Maybe I will have to take precautions but a lot of girls these day play with tape to protect themselves.
"It doesn't mean you can't compete."
Clijsters appeared to hurt her hip in the second set and Zvonareva pounced, sweeping through nine straight games on her way to taking a spot in the last four.
Despite being unable to chase down shots, the battling Belgian refused to retire and rallied from 5-0 down in the third before Zvonareva finished her off with a service break.
"I don't like to give up," said Clijsters, who also lost to Zvonareva in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. "I was still able to move, I was still able to hit the ball so I didn't want to quit. Continued...