New York, 20 August 2011 | AFP

Defending women’s champion Kim Clijsters withdrew from the US Open on Friday because of a stomach muscle injury.

“Unfortunately, I will not be able to defend my US Open title this year because of a stomach muscle injury [left rectus abdominus strain],” said the Belgian, who was also champion in 2009.

“Two weeks of rehab was not enough to heal this injury. Obviously I’m very disappointed. I trained very hard this summer and felt in a good shape to play the US Open.”