Torn back muscle may force withdrawal


MELBOURNE, Australia -- France's Amelie Mauresmo could miss
Tuesday's quarterfinal match against Fabiola Zuluaga at the
Australian Open because of a tear in a back muscle.

"She had a medical scan that showed a slight tear," Loic
Courteau, Mauresmo's coach, said Monday night. "We will have
another test before tomorrow's match and it will depend on (the
test) whether she plays or not.

"There is no question of taking the slightest risk to aggravate
the injury. There is a pretty strong chance that she will not play,
that she will have to pull out."

After Venus Williams lost in the third round, the fourth-seeded
Mauresmo was considered one of the favorites for the title along
with No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne and No. 2 Kim Clijsters.

Mauresmo, a runner-up here in 1999, was dominant in her first
three matches, dropping only six games, but tweaked her back in a
7-5, 7-5 fourth-round victory over Alicia Molik on Sunday.

The 32nd-seeded Zuluaga is the first Colombian woman to make the
quarterfinals of a major. Their match was the first match scheduled
for center court on Tuesday.