7 Jan 2012

Clijsters Australian Open defence under threat?

6:45 am on 7 January 2012

Kim Clijsters is sweating on MRI scans later today to know how badly her Australian Open tennis preparations have been thrown into disarray.

The defending champion at Melbourne Park, Clijsters suffered an injury scare last night when she was forced to retire from her semi-final at the Brisbane International.

The world No.13 was leading Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 1-3 on Pat Rafter Arena when she called it quits with a left hip strain.

But Clijsters doesn't believe her Open defence has been derailed - saying the injury, which she had once before in August 2010, didn't feel too bad.

Results of scans will dictate how quickly she can start rehab but she expects to be close to 100 per cent for the January the 16th start to the Open.

Hantuchova will play world No.34 Kaia Kanepi in the Brisbane final after she upset an off-colour third seed Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-0 in the late semi-final.