Clijsters out of Wimbledon
London - Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters withdrew from Wimbledon on Wednesday because of a foot injury, leaving the women's field even more wide open.
The second-ranked Belgian, who was seeded No 2 at Wimbledon earlier on Wednesday, said she had to pull out of the grass-court Grand Slam after injuring her right foot at the UNICEF Open in the Netherlands on Tuesday.
"At this moment I feel frustrated that it has to happen now before one of my favourite tournaments," Clijsters said in a statement. "I've always enjoyed being a part of the Wimbledon atmosphere but I have no other choice now but to rest, recover and to not play tennis for a few weeks."
The two-week tournament starts Monday at the All England Club.
Clijsters, a three-time US Open winner, hurt her right ankle in April while dancing barefoot at her cousin's wedding. She played at the French Open but lost in the second round. At Wimbledon, Clijsters has twice reached the semi-finals.
She said Tuesday's injury is not related to the previous problem.
"In about a month Kim will resume training and start rebuilding," her management company said in a statement. "She wants to prepare the best way possible for the US tour later this summer, with the US Open as the main goal."
Following her withdrawal, the rest of the seeded players moved up one spot, with Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria taking over the last-seeded No 32 spot. World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who has never won a Grand Slam, is seeded No 1.
Sam Querrey of the United States and Benjamin Becker of Germany also withdrew, both citing elbow injuries.