Kim Clijsters started her 2011 season with a flourish, winning the Australian Open, her 4th Major, and soon after regaining the #1 ranking. It was a lost season from that point on, as she just couldn’t stay healthy. So snake-bitten with injuries was she that she even hurt her ankle dancing at a wedding. To recap, she retired with a shoulder injury after winning the first set against Marion Bartoli at Indian Wells. Then the wedding dance injury to her ankle. Then another ankle injury at the UNICEF Open. She had to retire from a match with Zheng Jie at the Rogers Cup, again after winning the first set, with an abdominal injury. She had no clay court matches to prep going into Roland Garros and looked like it, getting bumped out in the 2nd round. She missed Wimbledon. She missed the US Open, losing an opportunity to defend her title. She missed the rest of the 2011 season since the Rogers Cup in August, and didn’t play much before that. Now, fast forward to the beginning of the 2012 season and once again, just a day after her game looked sharp enough to defend her 2011 Australian Open title, she won the first set against Daniela Hantuchova before being forced to retire with a hip injury.
While it seems she will be ready for Melbourne, which is why she shut it down in Brisbane once she didn’t feel right, as a fan of hers…she’s my favorite tennis player, my favorite athlete in the world at the moment…I feel like I have seen this movie before. She hasn’t been able to physically finish a tournament without an injury since early 2011. Honestly, I wonder if she can get through the 2 week grind of trying to win a Major without having to pull out with an injury. I certainly hope she can. But as a fan, I wonder how long she will go on battling injury after injury after injury before she decides it isn’t worth it at this point in her life. She already was hinting that 2012 might be her last year, that she was holding out for the opportunity to play in the London Summer Olympics. If I were a fan of Kim’s, and I am, if she gets injured again in Melbourne and has to retire from another match, I’m afraid we might not see much more of Kim on the WTA Tour.