Clijsters out of Australian Open - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clijsters out of Australian Open

07/01/2005 08:41:34 PM Comments (0)

Kim Clijsters, runner-up at last year's Australian Open, has officially withdrawn from this year's tournament.

The 21-year-old Belgian, who ended her engagement to Lleyton Hewitt late last year, released a statement on her website which confirmed she would be unable to play in Melbourne because of an ongoing wrist injury.

"The recovery of the wrist injury is going well, but Kim doesn't feel like putting too much stress on the joint that early and wants to avoid any possible risk," the statement said.

"Last year, Kim even played the final in Melbourne.

"But for the time being, she gives priority to a complete recovery of the wrist instead of defending that runner up position."

Clijsters - who lost to compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne in the 2004 final - has been a crowd favourite in Australia in recent years thanks to her relationship with Hewitt.

However, she ended their four-year relationship in October.

The statement said Clijsters - a winner of 21 career singles titles and $US9 million ($A11.85 million) in prizemoney - expected to be back in action at the Antwerp Proximus Diamond Games in mid-February.

"Should she feel ready one week earlier, she might play in Paris as well," the website said.

"As a defending champion she can count on a wild card there."

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