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Sat Apr 19 04:19:36 SAST 2014

Serena injury doubt for Australian Open

Sapa-AP | 04 January, 2012 12:492 Comments
Serena Williams of U.S. receives medical assistance after falling into the ground during her match against Bojana Jovanivski of Serbia at the Brisbane International tennis tournament January 4, 2012
Image by: Daniel Munoz / REUTERS

Serena Williams’ Australian Open preparations took a major hit Wednesday when she injured her left ankle and withdrew from the Brisbane International.

In her first tournament since losing the US Open final in September, Williams was serving for the match with a 6-2, 5-3 lead against Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia when she twisted the ankle and crashed heavily to the court.

  The 13-time Grand Slam winner lay near the baseline for several minutes while getting medical attention. She was helped to a courtside chair and had the ankle re-taped before resuming the second-round match and losing the next point to surrender a service break to Jovanovski.

  Williams limped through the next game, wincing in pain after at least two points, before securing a 6-2, 6-4 win to advance to the Brisbane quarterfinals in her first trip Down Under since winning the 2010 Australian Open title.

  She withdrew from the Brisbane tournament later Wednesday after having medical scans which “confirmed that I have a left ankle sprain (and) that I probably shouldn’t play on.” 

“I’m going to take a couple of days off — not too many — and see how I feel,” Williams said in a statement. “I’m still hopeful of playing the Australian Open.”  After hobbling into a post-match news conference, the 30-year-old Williams had initially said she was “anticipating it’ll be OK.”  “I’m always thinking I can play on, but at the same time I don’t want to stress it out right now,” Williams said.

  She was due to meet Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

  The Australian Open starts on Jan. 16 in Melbourne. Williams, a five-time winner at Melbourne Park, missed the 2011 Australian Open while she was recovering from two operations on her foot and blood clots in her lungs that kept her sidelined for about a year after the 2010 Wimbledon tournament.

  She won two tournaments heading into the US Open in August but, after losing the final to Sam Stosur, Williams didn’t play another tournament last year due to injuries.

  Williams said her first thought when she sprawled to the court near the baseline on Wednesday was “not again.”  “That’s what I felt,” she said. “I was like, ’No way.’”  Williams usually wears a protective guard on her left ankle, but took it off during the second set because it was irritating another minor injury on her foot.

  Stosur is already out after losing to Iveta Benesova 6-4, 6-2 in the preceding match on center court, extending a run of never advancing beyond the second round at her home tournament.

  It was the 28-year-old Benesova’s fourth win over a top-10 player.

  The No. 54-ranked Czech had never taken a set off Stosur in four previous matches but now finds herself in a quarterfinal match against Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters.

  “Hopefully it was just a bad day and I will bounce back next week and the week after,” Stosur said of her Australian Open preparations. “I don’t want to dwell on it.

  “It’s not the ideal start but I am not going to panic and think it’s all lost.”  Also, sixth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia beat Nina Bratchikova of Russia 6-3, 6-2 and Kaia Kanepi of Estonia ousted seventh-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-0, 6-3.

  On the men’s side, second-seeded Gilles Simon of France beat Australian teenager James Duckworth 6-3, 7-5, third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine beat Igor Andreev of Russia 6-7 (3), 7-6 (9), 6-2, sixth-seeded Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic had a 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and No. 8 Bernard Tomic of Australia trounced Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-1, 6-2.

  Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus beat fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal match against either top-seeded Andy Murray or Gilles Muller.

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Serena injury doubt for Australian Open

For Commenters Consideration | Please stick to the subject matter
Sat Apr 19 04:19:37 SAST 2014 ::

COMMENTS [2]

hope she gets well soon...she's one of the best female tennis players...she most certainly was going to win if she didn't get injured...will await her return!
She can handle pain for sure, pity she had to withdraw from the tournament. Better luck next time Serena.