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Clijsters bows out, Henin closer to glory

Published on 26/01/2006

26 January 2006

BRUSSELS — Belgian tennis fans have been denied an all-Belgian Australian Open final after Kim Clijsters withdrew from the tournament overnight with an ankle injury.

However, Belgian tennis ace and the tournament’s 8th seed, Justine Henin-Hardenne, qualified for the final, defeating the Russian 4th seed Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the semi-final.

On the verge of an all-Belgian final, Clijsters was forced to withdraw from the tournament with her semi-final duel against France’s Amelie Mauresmo levelled at one set apiece.

Clijsters won the first set 5-7, but Mauresmo fought back to win the second 6-2. The third set was poised at 3-2 in favour of Mauresmo when Clijsters sprained her ankle.

After undergoing court-side treatment, Clijsters resumed the match but was forced to give the match up after just one rally.

Despite the disappointing end to the tournament, Clijsters’ performance in the past two weeks in Melbourne have seen her gain the number one ranking in world women’s tennis.

Despite winning the US Open last September, Clijsters intends to retire in two years as injuries continue to plague her career.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news