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Comeback Clijsters survives injury scare

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Originally published on: 22/01/12 11:15

The defending champion is through to face the winner of Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic after a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory over Li, but Clijsters will now be hoping her ankle reacts well to treatment in the next 24 hours. 

“I just have the best people around me to take care of me and to make sure that this is hopefully not going to get any worse,” said the four-time Grand Slam champ at the post-game press conference. 

“That’s why I am sitting here with my leg up, to try and keep the swelling down as much as possible. We will see.”

Playing in her last ever Australian Open the Belgian looked set to limp off Rod Laver Arena for the last time when she rolled her ankle in the sixth game of the first set. 

Struggling to put weight on the effected foot, Clijsters dropped the opener 6-4 and when she trailed Li 6-2 in the second set tiebreak it appeared her hopes of a last Melbourne Slam were about to diminish. 

But with the end in sight Clijsters took full advantage of Li’s nerves, saving three match points and then a fourth with an audacious drop shot that had the crowd in raptures, before taking the second set. 

After levelling the match at one set all, ‘Aussie Kim’ as she is affectionately known in these parts, went on to clinch the third and with it a spot in Tuesday’s quarter final. 

“A couple of times it went through my mind [to pull out],” said Clijsters. “But I thought, ‘I don’t want to quit on my last time at the Australian Open‘. 

“I just kept fighting. Everyone in my support box was cheering me on and the crowd were amazing. I’m very happy.”

 

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