Clijsters withdraws from Cinci, and most likely the US Open.

Kim Clijsters has a partial tear of her left abdominal muscle and will pull out of Cincinnati—and is merely “hopeful” for the U.S. Open, her coach, Wim Fissette, told the Belgian newspaper Sportwereld. In her first match back since the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in the Netherlands in mid-June, the three-time U.S. Open champion suffered the injury in her match against Zheng Jie on Tuesday in Toronto, retiring while leading, 6-3 1-2. “During my warm-up today before my match, I just felt my left stomach muscle really, really tight, and when I started serving it just gradually got worse,” she told reporters. “So before the match, I got taped to try and protect the muscle as much as possible so that I wouldn’t make it worse. And during my match I just felt like, yeah, it just went worse and worse. Starts with the serve and then gradually, just doing rotations with your body, upper body kind of upwards, started hurting, as well. So I already had an ultrasound here on‑site, and I have a partial tear in my left stomach muscle, a little bit of blood.”

Clijsters has not won a title since winning her fourth Grand Slam at the 2011 Australian Open. She has only played five matches since tearing a ligament in her ankle while dancing at her cousin’s wedding in early April. With her retirement in Canada and pullout from Cincinnati, No. 2 Clijsters will almost certainly fall to No. 3 in the rankings behind Vera Zvonareva and could also drop to No. 4 behind Victoria Azarenka as she was defending quarterfinal points from Canada and a title run in Cincinnati.



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