DEFENDING CHAMPION KIM Clijsters has pulled out of the upcoming US Open with a stomach muscle injury.
The Belgian has been beset by injury troubles since winning the Australian Open earlier this year, and missed this summer’s Wimbledon tournament with an ankle problem.
“Unfortunately, I will not be able to defend my US Open title this year because of a stomach muscle injury (left rectus abdominus strain),” revealed a disappointed Clijsters on the official US Open website.
“Two weeks of rehab was not enough to heal this injury. Obviously I’m very disappointed. I trained very hard this summer and felt in a good shape to play the US Open.”
Clijsters returned to the women’s circuit in 2009 after taking two years off to have a baby. She became the first unseeded woman to win the US Open that year, before reclaiming the trophy in 2010.
The 28-year-old has won four Grand Slams in her career and is currently ranked third in the world.
The US Open begins at Flushing Meadows on 29 August.