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Clijsters pulls out of China Open; Nadal breezes through in Thailand

Kim Clijsters hits out during her US Open final triumph over Vera Zvonareva
Kim Clijsters hits out during her US Open final triumph over Vera Zvonareva
  • Kim Clijsters pulls out of next month's China Open because of foot infection
  • The Belgian develops infection after having moles removed from right foot
  • World number one Rafael Nadal advances to the third round of Thailand Open
  • Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych ease through at the Malaysian Open

(CNN) -- US Open champion Kim Clijsters has been forced to pull out of next month's China Open because of a foot infection.

In a statement on her website the Belgian said she had some moles removed from the sole of her right foot and the wound had become infected.

"I am very sorry to have to cancel for Beijing," the 27-year-old said. "After I returned from New York, I had some moles removed. The operation had been planned for quite a while.

"However, the wound on my foot sole heals really bad. Therefore playing tennis is not possible."

Clijsters has not played since winning her third US Open title in New York in September, but was scheduled to compete in the October 2-10 hard court tournament in Beijing.

She is hoping to return to action at the season-ending WTA Championships in Doha from October 25-31.

World number one Serena Williams will also not play at the China Open as she continues to recover from a cut to her right foot sustained in July.

Meanwhile, world number one Rafael Nadal began his Thailand Open campaign with a straightforward 6-1 6-4 victory over Belgian Ruben Bemelmans 6-1 6-4.

The Spaniard was competing in his first event since completing a career grand slam at the US Open earlier this month.

Nadal's compatriot Fernando Verdasco, the second seed, suffered a shock 6-4 6-4 defeat to Benjamin Becker of Germany.

Elsewhere, Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych both made routine progress at the Malaysian Open on Thursday.

Swedish top seed Soderling, the two-time French Open finalist, crushed Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-0, 6-1 in a match which lasted just 62 minutes.

Berdych of the Czech Republic, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist, beat Uzbek Denis Istomin 6-3 6-4.

Soderling will face eighth seed Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals, while Berdych meets David Ferrer of Spain.