Kim Clijsters pulls out of Western & Southern Open

Former World No.1 Kim Clijsters has withdrawn from the ongoing Western & Southern Open.

“I’m grateful to Western & Southern Open for the opportunity to play the tournament once again,” Clijsters said in a statement as per the WTA website. “I have great memories from playing in Cincinnati and was looking forward to being a part of the event this year. It’s disappointing to have to withdraw but after discussions with medical and my team, I need a little more recovery time.”

The former World No. 1 had received a wildcard for the tournament which began this week and serves as a warm-up event for players ahead of the US Open which is slated to be held from August 31 to September 13.

The 37-year-old, who was due to play Jennifer Brady in the first round and will be replaced by a qualifier or lucky loser, is however optimistic about her chances to play in the US Open.

“I’m grateful to be able to stay in the “bubble” and continue to prepare with my team here at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,” said the Belgian.

“I want to thank the Western & Southern Open team, the USTA and WTA for all their efforts in putting these events together – they’ve worked really hard to create a great experience in a safe and healthy space for players,” she added.

Earlier this week, two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza also withdrew from the Western & Southern Open, citing a left ankle injury.

“I hope I will be able to keep improving and have the opportunity to compete at the US Open,” Muguruza said on Twitter.