Injured Clijsters Gives up on Clay Season


Belgium's Kim Clijsters announced on Tuesday that she will bypass the clay season, including the French Open, in the hope of recovering from a hip injury in time for the grass season and the Olympic Games.

"The rehabilitation process following Kim's hip injury is going more slowly than expected," read a statement on the former world number one's website.

"Kim will not be able to return to training with the ball for three weeks."

Clijsters said: "My current physical condition will not enable me to go to Roland Garros in optimal shape.

"However, I cannot wait to begin the long period of preparation for the grass season, with Wimbledon and the Olympic Games my principal objectives."

Clijsters intends to make her return to action at the Rosmalen tournament in the Netherlands, which begins on June 17.

The 28-year-old sustained the injury during a match at the Miami Masters last month.

Her withdrawal from the tournament prompted the Belgian media to speculate that she might be about to call time on her career, but Clijsters, who quit the sport in 2007 only to return two seasons later after having a child, "vigorously denied" having any thoughts about retirement.