Flipkens flying high after life-threatening blood clots
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Few people enjoy the long flight from Europe to Australia but for one player in Melbourne, it is even worse than most.
Nine months ago, Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens stepped off a flight from Thailand and felt like her calves “were about to explode”.
Used to pain as a professional athlete, Flipkens shrugged it off and played another tournament that week, but eventually consulted a doctor, to be told she had blood clots in both legs.
“I didn’t think in the beginning about blood clots so I was still playing and getting treatment,” world number 43 Flipkens told Reuters in an interview.
“Two days after, I was supposed to leave for Japan for the Fed Cup and the doctor told me: ‘if you step on the plane, you will probably come out of it blue’. That was the moment I was getting scared.”
On Friday, Flipkens reached the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time on Friday with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 win over Valeria Savinykh of Russia.