MASON, Ohio (AP) - Kim Clijsters reached the final of the
Cincinnati Open on Saturday when Serbia's Ana Ivanovic hurt her
left foot only 12 minutes into their match and left the court in
The fourth-seeded Belgian will be well-rested when she plays her
third title match of the year. Ivanovic's injury allowed the
27-year-old Clijsters to get a break from the oppressive afternoon
heat - an on-court thermometer reached 120 degrees during the week.
Russians Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were set
to play in the other semifinal on Saturday night.
The first semifinal ended after only 25 points.
Clijsters broke Ivanovic's serve to go up 2-1. In the next game,
Ivanovic appeared to twist her left foot while setting up to make a
forehand return from the baseline. She hit one more point during
the rally - another forehand - then dropped her racket and bent
over in pain.
She walked gingerly to her chair and took a medical timeout,
removing her shoe. A trainer rubbed the inside of the foot, from
below the ankle to the arch. Ivanovic got the foot taped and tried
to continue. After the second point - a serve that Ivanovic didn't
even bother to chase - the match was over.
Ivanovic cried as she hobbled off the court, another setback in
a disappointing season for the former No. 1-ranked player. She was
limited by an injured right shoulder early in the season and had
trouble getting back in form. She hasn't reached the final at any
tournament this year, and came to Cincinnati ranked No. 62.
She had a good week, reaching only her third semifinal of the
year. The foot injury left the rest of her disappointing season in
Clijsters has turned Cincinnati into her comeback city each of
the last two years.
Last year, the Belgian returned to tennis in Cincinnati after
taking more than two years off to start a family and recharge. She
got her game together quickly, reached the quarterfinals and built
upon the momentum, winning the U.S. Open title a few weeks later.
This year, she was sidelined for nearly two months after tearing
muscles in her left foot, forcing her to miss the French Open. She
took a break from tournament play after Wimbledon, then showed up
in Cincinnati looking to get her game together again.
Her path to the final opened up when Serena and Venus Williams
both withdrew because of injuries before the tournament started,
and five of the top eight seeds were knocked out on Thursday.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)