| By David Drucker

Two-time defending U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium will not get a chance at a three-peat at this year’s U.S. Open. Clijsters has announced that she has no other choice but to pull out of the last Grand Slam of the year citing a stomach muscle injury, more specifically, a left rectus abdominus strain.

For the Belgian, 2011 has had its ups and downs as she kicked off the year with her first-ever Australian Open title. Since then, Clijsters has shown inconsistent results and a few puzzling losses. The idea to withdraw from the U.S. Open looks to be the right decision for the defending champion as she knows best how well she’d be able to compete, and obviously does not feel up for the challenge physically just yet. Hopefully, Clijsters will heal in time to finish out the rest of the WTA season.

“Unfortunately, I will not be able to defend my U.S. Open title this year because of a stomach muscle injury. 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 good enough shape to play the U.S. Open,” said Clijsters in a statement. “Now, there is nothing else I can do than rest and have treatment every day. If a gradual approach is not taken, I will relapse in the same injury, and therefore I have also no other possibility than to withdrawal from the tournaments in Tokyo and Beijing.”

On Clijsters withdrawing from the Open, tournament director Jim Curley was obviously saddened by the news.

“It is unfortunate that Kim has not recovered from her injury in time to defend her U.S. Open title. We wish her a full and speedy recovery and look forward to her return to New York next year.”