US Open winner Clijsters withdraws from China Open

BEIJING (AFP) – US Open champion Kim Clijsters has withdrawn from next month's China Open to recover from foot surgery, the Belgian superstar announced on her website.

"I am very sorry to have to cancel for Beijing," said Clijsters, currently fifth in the WTA Tour rankings.

"After I returned from New York, I had some moles removed. The operation had been planned for quite a while. However, the wound on my foot sole is healing really badly. Therefore playing tennis is not possible."

AFP file - Kim Clijsters pictured during the final of the US Open on September 11, 2010 in New York

Clijsters, 27, said there was "no doubt" that she would be ready for the season-ending championships in Doha, which begin on October 26.

The withdrawal of Clijsters from the China Open comes after world number one Serena Williams pulled out of tournaments in both Tokyo and Beijing, as she continues to recover from recent surgery on her right foot.

The American cut her foot on broken glass at a restaurant shortly after winning her fourth Wimbledon crown in July and has not played since.

The China Open, a joint WTA-ATP event, gets under way in Beijing on October 2.

America's multi-Grand Slam winner Venus Williams, world number two Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Russia's Maria Sharapova are expected to headline the women's draw.

On the men's side, world number two Novak Djokovic of Serbia will defend his title. Britain's Andy Murray, Sweden's Robin Soderling and Russia's Nikolay Davydenko -- ranked fourth, fifth and sixth by the ATP -- are also in the draw.

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