MELBOURNE, Australia -- Kim Clijsters aggravated an ankle
injury in her Australian Open quarterfinal victory over Anastasia
Myskina on Wednesday, leaving the second-seeded Belgian star
questionable for the semifinals.
Clijsters, a semifinalist in all four majors last season but
still without a Grand Slam title, beat Myskina 6-2, 7-6 (9) to set
up a semifinal match against Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.
Schnyder, seeded 22nd, advanced to her first Grand Slam
semifinal with a 7-5 (2), 6-3 victory over Lisa Raymond.
Clijsters lost the first four games of the second set against
Myskina and needed a medical timeout for her left ankle after
holding in the fifth.
"I'll have to see how it reacts," Clijsters said. "I'm going
to have a week off after this anyway, so I might as well go for it
and give myself a shot. But, on the other hand, if I can't walk
tomorrow, it's stupid to go out there."
Clijsters won five of the next six games after getting courtside
treatment in the second set and had two match points on the
sixth-seeded Myskina's serve in the 12th before the Russian held to
force a tiebreaker.
Clijsters had three more match points in the tiebreaker and
saved two set points before the match in 90 minutes when Myskina's
backhand shot drifted wide.
Clijsters, who injured her left ankle at the Hopman Cup and was
sidelined for two weeks leading into the tournament, said she'd ice
her ankle, take painkillers and get the area taped before deciding
in the morning if she can play in the semifinal Thursday.
In the other semifinal, top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne will
face Colombia's Fabiola Zuluaga, seeded 32nd.
Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters met in two all-Belgian Grand Slam
finals last season, with Henin-Hardenne winning in the French and
With No. 3 Venus Williams out in the third round, Serena
Williams not defending the title and No. 4 Amelie Mauresmo forced
to default her quarterfinal because of a back problem, Clijsters
and Henin-Hardenne were strong favorites for the title.
Clijsters said her ankle wasn't as painful as it was when she
withdrew from a warmup tournament in Sydney. She said she "just
sort of jammed it again."
She started with only three unforced errors as she raced for a
5-0 lead in the first set, but ended with 47 unforced errors to
"I started off really well, was feeling good ... I wish I ended
like that," Clijsters said. "I had a little stumble in the
second, then I got taped very tight, which kept me from making it
any worse. That's maybe why I was rushing it a bit.
"I was very happy I could pull it off in two sets, otherwise it
would have been hard."
Even though Clijsters was injured, Myskina could not capitalize. She knows she missed a
"I think I lost the match -- before the match already," she
smiled wistfully soon after trudging off center court.
"I was kind of nervous because I thought I had a good
chance to play, I mean, at least to play three sets with Kim,
maybe beat her. But that was not my day, for sure."
When Clijsters received treatment while trailing 4-1 in the
second set, Myskina was well aware it was a genuine concern --
rather than a tactic -- by Clijsters to buy time to regroup.
"Kim took it just because she was hurt. I think she had the
pain, that's why she took it, not just because there was
something that she want to change or break my rhythm," Myskina
"I lost this match because I did lots of unforced errors.
That's why I lost this match, not because of the break."
"I was just thinking to keep the ball, you know, and play
rallies. But I wasn't able today to play lot of rallies, you
know, and Kim just beat me in these rallies," she said.
Schnyder described her run to the semifinals as "enormous."
"I mean, I'm so happy to be here and to play semis ... it's
hard to describe," said Schnyder, who beat 12th-seeded Paulo
Suarez in the third round and Nathalie Dechy in the fourth.
Raymond, a third-round winner over Venus Williams, is 0-5 in her
career against Schnyder. The 30-year-old American had 44 unforced
errors and only 24 winners.
"I don't think that I've been this disappointed losing a
match," Raymond said. "I really, really thought that I had a good
shot of really having a breakthrough here.
Raymond's loss leaves Agassi as the only American still in
contention at Melbourne Park.