August 22, 2006

Clijsters targets October comeback on home soil

By Darren Ennis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - World number two Kim Clijsters has
rejected rumors that she will retire from tennis following her
latest injury setback and hopes to return to action on home
soil in October, sources close to the player said on Tuesday.

Clijsters will undergo a scan in Belgium on Wednesday on
her injured wrist, which has ruled her out of action for at
least two months.

The Belgian's injury on her left wrist means she will be
unable to defend her title at the U.S. Open, which begins next
Monday, and will also be sidelined during the Fed Cup final
against Italy next month.

Clijsters, who will have to wear a brace for six weeks, is
hoping to make her comeback at the tournament in Hasselt, which
begins on October 30.

Having announced last August that she plans to retire at
the end of 2007, speculation has grown over the last few days
that if the latest scan shows no improvement on her
injury-prone wrist, she may call it a day immediately.

"She has no intention of throwing in the towel," a source
close to the player told Reuters.

"She had two scans on the wrist and it seems that the
second scan indicates that the injury may not be as bad as
first suspected."

The same source confirmed that if Clijsters makes a
successful comeback in Hasselt, she intends to play in the WTA
Championships a week later in Madrid.

Clijsters was forced to have surgery on her left wrist two
years ago when she managed to play just three matches from May
2004 to February 2005 after damaging a tendon.

The operation appeared to have been successful as Clijsters
racked up nine titles, including her maiden grand slam title at
Flushing Meadows, following her comeback.