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Clijsters pulls out of Indian Wells

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Originally published on: 15/02/12 09:56

Kim Clijsters has been forced to withdraw from next month’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells because of a left ankle injury.

The Belgian has twice won the WTA Premier 5 tournament, beating Lindsay Davenport in the 2003 and 2005 finals, and was “very disappointed” at missing the chance to compete for a third triumph in the Californian desert.

“Indian Wells has been a very special tournament for me, winning in 2003 and again in 2005 when I returned from injury,” Clijsters said in a statement.

“I have great memories of Indian Wells and have always enjoyed the fan support there. I wish the tournament a great success this year.”

The four-time Grand Slam champion plans to retire at the end of the season but her hopes of ending her career on a high have been undermined by physical ailments.

After winning the Australian Open last year, the 28-year-old’s season was marred by shoulder, wrist and abdominal injuries. This year, the problems have continued to surface. Clijsters kicked off 2012 by reaching the Brisbane semi-finals but a hip injury caused her to retire against Daniela Hantuchova at 3-1 down in the second set, despite taking the first.

In Melbourne last month, Clijsters twisted her ankle against Li Na in a repeat of the 2011 Australian Open final but she ultimately survived the close fourth round encounter to go on and reach the semi-finals, where she fell to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka.

Currently ranked at No.34 in the world, Clijsters has her eye on a maiden Wimbledon crown, Olympic gold and a fourth US Open triumph before she hangs up her rackets for good.

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