Tennis: Injured Clijsters pulls out of Wimbledon

NUMBER ONE: Defending champion Rafael Nadal is the top seed in the men's draw at Wimbledon.

NUMBER ONE: Defending champion Rafael Nadal is the top seed in the men's draw at Wimbledon.

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Kim Clijsters has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon following tests on a foot injury.

The 28-year-old US Open and Australian Open champion, who initially picked up the injury while dancing at a wedding, suffered a recurrence of the problem when playing at the Unicef Open in s’Hertogenbosch this week.

“I’m very, very disappointed to have to withdraw from Wimbledon after injuring my foot again at the tournament in s’Hertogenbosch,” Clijsters said.

“At this moment I feel frustrated that it has to happen now before one of my favourite tournaments.

“I’ve always enjoyed being a part of the Wimbledon atmosphere but I have no other choice now but to rest, recover and to not play tennis for a few weeks.”

Following the second-seeded Belgian’s announcement, the players below her all move up a place, with Tsvetana Pironkova coming in at number 32.

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With world number one Caroline Wozniacki given top billing, Vera Zvonareva is the new second seed, Li Na third, Victoria Azarenka fourth and former winner Maria Sharapova fifth.

Further down, Serena Williams is the number seven seed, aiding her quest for a hat-trick of titles as she will not meet a top-eight player until the quarter-finals.

Williams won last year’s title by beating Zvonareva, but only returned for the first time at Eastbourne yesterday after injury and illness kept her away from the court.

The 29-year-old’s impressive record on the grass courts SW19 ensure she will still remain as one of the favourites, especially with Wozniacki still awaiting her first grand slam success.

In the men’s competition, Andy Murray has been handed the fourth seeding as expected after the All England Club elected to adhere to the top-five world rankings.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is therefore the top seed ahead of Novak Djokovic, with six-time winner Roger Federer third on the list.

Murray’s seeding ensures he will not play any of the top four before the semi-finals as he aims to claim his breakthrough grand slam success on home turf.

Nadal’s presence at the top of the pile, meanwhile, has meant that Federer will not be the top seed for the first time since his maiden Wimbledon success in 2003.

Nadal had been the first seed in 2009, but he was forced to withdraw on the eve of the tournament due to injury, while last year the organisers named Federer as top seed despite being ranked behind Nadal.

They have only made subtle changes from the world rankings this time around with last year’s beaten finalist Tomas Berdych the sixth seed, up one place from his world mark, while Andy Roddick is two places higher at eighth.

Sam Querrey and Benjamin Becker, both unseeded, have pulled out of the men’s half of the draw owing to elbow injuries.

Wimbledon seedings

Men: 1 Rafael Nadal, 2 Novak Djokovic, 3 Roger Federer, 4 Andy Murray, 5 Robin Soderling, 6 Tomas Berdych, 7 David Ferrer, 8 Andy Roddick, 9 Gael Monfils, 10 Mardy Fish, 11 Jurgen Melzer, 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 13 Viktor Troicki, 14 Stanislas Wawrinka, 15 Gilles Simon, 16 Nicolas Almagro, 17 Richard Gasquet, 18 Mikhail Youzhny, 19 Michael Llodra, 20 Florian Mayer, 21 Fernando Verdasco, 22 Alexandr Dolgoplov, 23 Janko Tipsarevic, 24 Juan Martin Del Potro, 25 Juan Ignacio Chela, 26 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 27 Marin Cilic, 28 David Nalbandian, 29 Nikolay Davydenko, 30 Thomaz Bellucci, 31 Milos Raonic, 32 Marcos Baghdatis.

Women: 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 2 Vera Zvonareva, 3 Na Li, 4 Victoria Azarenka, 5 Maria Sharapova, 6 Francesca Schiavone, 7 Serena Williams, 8 Petra Kvitova, 9 Marion Bartoli, 10 Samantha Stosur, 11 Andrea Petkovic, 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova, 13 Agnieszka Radwanska, 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 15 Jelena Jankovic, 16 Julia Goerges, 17 Kaia Kanepi, 18 Ana Ivanovic, 19 Yanina Wickmayer, 20 Shuai Peng, 21 Flavia Pennetta, 22 Shahar Peer, 23 Venus Williams, 24 Dominika Cibulkova, 25 Daniela Hantuchova, 26 Maria Kirilenko, 27 Jarmila Gajdosova, 28 Ekaterina Makarova, 29 Roberta Vinci, 30 Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 31 Lucie Safarova, 32 Tsvetana Pironkova.

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