WIMBLEDON, England -- Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters withdrew from Wimbledon on Wednesday because of a foot injury, leaving the women's field more wide open.
The Belgian, who was seeded No. 2 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 favorite 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 U.S. Open winner, hurt her right ankle in April while dancing at her cousin's wedding. She played at the French Open but lost in the second round. At Wimbledon, Clijsters twice has reached the semifinals.
She said Tuesday's injury is not related to the previous problem. In her 7-6 (5), 6-3 loss to Italy's Romina Oprandi, she skidded to the net and stumbled on the first point of the second game. She appeared tentative for the rest of the match, although she did not call for medical treatment.
"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 U.S. tour later this summer, with the U.S. 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 No. 32 seed.
Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, who has never won a Grand Slam, is seeded No. 1.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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