MONTREAL — Defending U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters couldn't shake off a thigh injury at the $2-million Rogers Cup, falling 6-3, 2-6, 3-6 to Russian Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Clijsters, seeded fifth in Montreal, seemed to be cruising toward victory after the first set. But the 27-year-old Belgian dropped the second set and was noticeably slow of foot by the end, leaving centre court for an injury timeout.
She began the third set with her left thigh tightly wrapped and couldn't keep up with the 25-year-old Zvonareva.
Limited mobility only allowed her to score on five of 19 first return chances in the final set. Zvonareva, the No. 8 seed, broke Clijsters to start the third set and ran out to a 5-0 led before the Belgian took her last stand.
She took the next two games before succumbing to Zvonareva, who improved to 2-5 in head-to-head matches against Clijsters.
Zvonareva moves on to face the winner between Marion Bartoli of Franceand Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
Clijsters says her hip had tightened up over the previous two days and became uncomfortable during the second set Friday but that she never considered quitting.
"I don't like to give up," said Clijsters, who will have an MRI on her leg in the next few days.
"I was still able to hit the ball. I'm not blaming my injury at all. I lost to (Zvonareva) at Wimbledon where I was feeling totally fine."Clijsters says the injury doesn't appear to be serious and she expects to be in form for the U.S. Open, which gets underway at the end of the month
Damn, of all the stinkin' rotten luck.
Kim was in total control of the first set. I really think she would have made it all the way to the end, and won the title had it not been for this thigh injury.
I just hope she's right, and it really isn't anything serious.
Is it me, or is poor Kim jinked when it comes to this Canadian tournament?.
In 2006 she injured her wrist (when the ladies were playing in Toronto I think), and of course decided to completely retire from the game at 24 years of age.
If it weren't for the fact that we totally love having her here, I would tell her to skip it next year.
Get well Kim, I wanna see you kick butt, and finally get a chance to defend your title on August 30th.
Needless to say I will no longer be following the rest of Roger's Cup.
Sticking with Roger Federer now to see if he can keep hope alive in Cincinnati.