Anna not Into needle point

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

No one stuck a fork in Anastasia Myskina. She isn't done.

But an acupuncture needle? That's a different story.

The 24-year-old Russian went through a painful acupuncture treatment on her sprained left ankle on Thursday night, in the hope she would be fit for her Rogers Cup quarter-final match yesterday.

While describing the ninth-seeded Myskina as "fit" certainly is pushing it, she was healthy enough to advance to the semi-finals with a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over unseeded Gisela Dulko of Argentina.

"I had acupuncture and it hurt so badly," Myskina said. "At that time, when the needle was in my leg, I felt like I wasn't even going to move anymore.

"I've had acupuncture before, but this time there was so much pain. That was something new."

Myskina laughed as she told the story, but Rogers Cup organizers would not have been amused had another seeded player been forced to withdraw due to injury or illness.

On Thursday afternoon in a match against Shinobu Asagoe of Japan, Myskina badly turned her left ankle. If you saw the replay, you probably grimaced.

BOOKENDED ANKLE

Myskina, whose ankle was bookended by splints and wrapped tightly yesterday, moved better from side to side than she did going forward and backward. Given that, Myskina seemed genuinely puzzled by Dulko's game plan, or lack thereof.

"I don't think Gisela played really smart with me, so that was a big advantage," Myskina said. "The drop shot was the key, but she didn't use it."

Myskina is scheduled to take on Kim Clijsters of Belgium in the first of two semi-final matches today. Knowing the tender condition of Myskina's ankle, will Clijsters use the drop shot any more frequently than Dulko did?

"I'm not going to finish every rally with a drop shot," Clijsters said. "That would be stupid."

Well, maybe yes and maybe no.

Clijsters, the seventh seed, barely worked up a sweat in her quarter-final match yesterday. Playing in only her second match of the Rogers Cup, Clijsters blasted 14th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-0, 6-3.

"I got a walkover (on Thursday), which I wasn't too sad about," Clijsters said with a smile. "I've played enough matches in the past few weeks."


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