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Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Thursday, 24 March 2011

Kim Clijsters opts out of Tokyo event over nuclear fear

Kim Clijsters
Clijsters will not play in Japan due to fears over radiation

World number two Kim Clijsters will not play at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in September due to the nuclear emergency in Japan.

Clisters, the US Open and Australian Open singles champion, told Belgian media on Tuesday of her decision.

The Belgian player also said that she would withdraw from the China Open in October.

She has extended messages of support to the Japanese people through Twitter since disaster struck the country.

Clijsters also released a statement through the Women's Tennis Association [WTA], which said: "Most importantly, my thoughts and sympathies are with the people in Japan. It's heart wrenching to see what they are going through right now."

The statement continues: "Of course the health and safety of anyone travelling to an impacted area [from radiation] is my top priority, as well as the WTA's. I'm sure the WTA will continue to monitor the situation."

Kimiko Date-Krumm, a former doubles partner of Clijsters, understands why the four-time grand slam winner would be reluctant to compete in Tokyo, but hopes such fears can be allayed.

I would say it's a long way away for me. Obviously if it's deemed safe I will go"
Andy Roddick

The Japanese player said: "We still have time, so hopefully we can fix everything and everyone can come to Japan. If it's 100% safe I hope everybody will come and help Japan."

Other top players have decided to reserve judgement on whether to play in Japan, preferring to wait and see how the country recovers from the devastation caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

World number three Roger Federer said: "It hasn't even crossed my mind [whether to play in Japan] yet. We'll get the green light from someone else. You always have to take your own decision, but I don't think it will be a problem by then to be honest."

Andy Roddick, the world number eight, said: "I would say it's a long way away for me. Obviously if it's deemed safe I will go."

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see also
Two Fukushima workers in hospital
24 Mar 11 |  Asia-Pacific
Tokyo cancels World skating event
22 Mar 11 |  Winter Sports
Crisis-hit Japan postpones MotoGP
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
J.League halted after earthquake
14 Mar 11 |  Sport Homepage
Injury forces Clijsters pull-out
16 Mar 11 |  Tennis

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