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Clijsters hopeful of being fit for the Australian Open despite injury scare

The defending champion was forced to concede her semi-final in Brisbane to Daniela Hantuchova, while there are also concerns for Roger Federer.

Image: Tertius Pickard/AP/Press Association Images

DEFENDING CHAMPION KIM Clijsters expects to be able to defend her Australian Open title despite being forced to retire from her semi-final match in Brisbane on Friday.

The 28-year-old was one set up on rival Daniela Hantuchova when she called for an injury break three games into the second set.

Suffering from a hip problem, the Belgian lost the next game before being forced to retire injured from the match.

”I felt like it was just spasming up and getting worse throughout that first set, so it was the smartest choice to try and not get any worse, to get ready for Melbourne,” she explained.

“I know with Sam (Verslegers, her physiotherapist) and the trainers here. If everything comes out tomorrow (Saturday), then it should take a little under a week to get completely healed, so that’s what I’m obviously hoping for and aiming for. I do have a good feeling about this one.”

Serena Williams is also a doubt for the first Grand Slam of the year after hurting her ankle earlier in the week. She is, however, determined to be part of the action in Melbourne, tweeting:

Roger Federer, meanwhile, has withdrawn from the Qatar Open after seeing no improvement in a back injury he suffered earlier this week. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is straight through to the final of the tournament as a result where he will play the winner of the Rafael Nadal v Gael Monfils semi-final.

READ - Serena withdraws from Brisbane International with injured ankle

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