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Reigning champion Kim Clijsters is confident that she will be able to defend her Australian Open title, after scans revealed her hip injury was not serious.

The 28-year-old had been forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International tournament when she picked up the injury during the second set of her semi-final against Daniela Hantuchova.

She called for the trainer and eventually opted to retire as she did not want to cause further damage ahead of the first live tennis Grand Slam of the year.

The Belgian is confident that she will be ready to feature in Melbourne, with the Australian Open set to get underway on 16th January.
After the injury was diagnosed as a muscle spasm in her hip, Clijsters said: "With this one I kind of have an okay feeling. If everything comes out okay it should take a little less than a week to get completely healed.

"I felt my left hip was getting tighter and tighter to the point I couldn't move forward with my upper body. The smartest choice was not to let it get any worse and try to be right for Melbourne."

The build-up to the tournament has been dominated by injuries to many of the sport's top players with Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and Serena Williams also suffering various ailments. Tennis betting offers are already available tipping a surprise winner to take advantage of the injured elite stars.

Clijsters has four Grand Slams to her name, having won the US Open on three occasions as well as last year's Australian Open.

She has never got past the semi-finals at Wimbledon and was beaten in the French Open final in 2001 and 2003.
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