The reigning US and Australian Open title holder, already on the injured list after opting to take a break to heal shoulder and wrist problems in time to bid for a first title at Roland Garros, faces up to six weeks on the sidelines after suffering the injury in Belgium
So the 27 year-old could miss the clay-court major for the second time since her comeback to the sport in the summer of 2009.The French Open begins on May 17 and a statement was issued on Clijsters’ own website that stated: "The consequences are rather dire. Kim's presence in Paris is very uncertain. Her ankle is completely immobilized." She cannot use her foot for a few days.
Clijsters underwent the requisite scans and examinations with her doctors on Sunday and the extent of her injuries was revealed as severely strained medial and lateral ligaments in her right ankle. In addition, she also tore the capsule of the ankle joint, and sustained both a hematoma and torn tendon sheath.
Ironically Clijsters decided to retire, albeit temporarily, in May 2007 she cited too many recurrent injuries. A year ago she tore a muscle in her left foot during Belgium’s Fed Cup tie against Estonia and she was ruled out for six weeks, missing the French Open and the rest of the clay court season. She returned to competition on grass at the AEGON International in Eastbourne, a week before Wimbledon.
Clijsters’ last competitive match was on March 31, when she lost to the in-form Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open on Key Biscayne. When subsequently announcing she would be taking a month out to deal with shoulder and wrist problems, Clijsters stated her initial plans were to return to competition at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, beginning on May 9.
She has twice been a losing finalist at the French Open, in 2001 and 2003. However the news has been greeted as something of a victory in Denmark where optimism is mounting that Caroline Wozniacki will finally win a major title, at Roland Garros.
Wozniacki won her third title of the year at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, causing her to be announced a 5-1 favorite to win in Paris. The Copenhagen Post subsequently carried a headline that read: “Victory on clay and Clijsters injury good omens for Roland Garros.”