<
>

Wimbledon will be Clijsters' final Grand Slam event

4/21/2007 - Tennis

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Kim Clijsters will not play at the U.S.
Open, making Wimbledon the last Grand Slam tournament of her
career.

The fourth-ranked Belgian will also play doubles at Wimbledon,
which starts June 25, in case of an early exit from the singles.


"That way, I would be able to stay a bit longer at my last
Grand Slam tournament," Clijsters said on her Web site. She has
not yet decided if it will be mixed or women's doubles.


After losing to Li Na of China in Key Biscayne last month,
Clijsters complained about a bad back and has found it tough to
resume training.


"The will is not fully there yet, but I want to get used to
clay again," Clijsters said before her next appearance at the J&S
Cup in Warsaw, where she is the defending champion. The tournament
starts April 30.


Clijsters already pulled out of the French Open because of
preparations for her wedding to American basketball player Brian
Lynch on July 14 in her hometown of Bree.


The former top-ranked player could limit herself to about six
events before bowing out at the WTA event in Stuttgart, Germany,
from Oct. 1-7.


Clijsters, 23, has been battling injuries for much of her
career, and increasingly so over the last few years. In 2006, a
left wrist injury prevented her from entering the U.S. Open to
defend her title, and from playing in the Fed Cup final.


This year, Clijsters won her 34th career singles title in Sydney
and reached the Australian Open semifinals, only to return home
with a sore hip. She dropped out of the Gaz de France to prepare
for the Diamond Games in Antwerp -- her last tournament in Belgium --
where she lost to Amelie Mauresmo in the final.