BRUSSELS – Kim Clijsters will be sidelined for a month with shoulder and wrist injuries, forcing her to miss Belgium's Fed Cup semifinal next week against the Czech Republic. She is aiming to play the French Open.
The U.S. Open and Australian Open champion said a busy spring schedule overexerted her right shoulder and wrist. She will not be able to hold a tennis racket for the next few weeks.
Clijsters, ranked No. 2, also will skip the Madrid Open in the first week of May but hopes to resume her season on clay in Rome on May 9, giving her two weeks to prepare for the French Open.
"I don't want to force anything," she said on her website. "I want to avoid at all cost that this becomes chronic."
Despite promises to take it easy and limit her tournaments, Clijsters acknowledged she already had taken on too much this year. After winning the year's first major in Australia, she played Fed Cup and Paris in February before heading to the United States for two long tournaments.
First, she pulled out of Indian Wells in the fourth round with a shoulder injury. Then she lost in the quarterfinals in Miami last week to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in a strangely listless performance.
Even then, the signs were already there.
"I felt something was not quite right," Clijsters said. "There were too many successive aches and pains that just didn't want to disappear. It gets into your head."
The injury is a blow to Belgium, which faces a strong challenge from the Czech Republic at home in Charleroi next week. Early in the season, Justine Henin was forced into retirement because of injury. So instead of featuring two of the game's greatest players, Belgium will be relying on No. 23 Yanina Wickmayer and No. 103 Kirsten Flipkens.
"I was really looking forward to that Fed Cup," Clijsters said.
Instead, the French Open awaits. She was twice a losing finalist at Roland Garros and was forced to miss it last year. Clijsters is 27 and at one point took a 2½-year break from tennis to start a family. She still wants to shine at the Olympics in London next year before letting the pull of family take over again.