Serena, Clijsters headline 2010 US Open women's field

July 21, 2010 11:39 AM
 The USTA has announced that 99 of the top 100 women, including 2010 Grand Slam singles champions Serena Williams and Francesca Schiavone, are entered in the women’s singles field for the 2010 US Open Tennis Championships.  Williams and Schiavone will be joined in the field by defending champion Kim Clijsters and former US Open champions Venus Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova.  In all, 36 different countries are represented in the women’s field. 
Two-time US Open champion Justine Henin of Belgium will miss this year’s event due to an injury she suffered to her right (serving) elbow during Wimbledon. 
Serena Williams, the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, will have the opportunity to win her third Grand Slam of the year, and 14th overall, at the US Open.  Reigning French Open champion Schiavone will attempt to win her first US Open and second career major title.   
Altogether, there are seven players who have won Grand Slam singles titles in their careers competing in the US Open this year, including former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, who won the 2008 French Open.   
The 2010 US Open will be played August 30 – September 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.7 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.7 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series.  The US Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by JPMorgan Chase.   
Leading the entry list is world No. 1 and three-time US Open champion Serena Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., who won US Open titles in 1999, 2002 and 2008.  Following Williams on the entry list are No. 2 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, the 2008 US Open runner-up; No. 3 Venus Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the 2000 and 2001 US Open champion; No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the 2009 US Open runner-up; No. 5 Samantha Stosur of Australia, the 2010 French Open runner-up; No. 6 Elena Dementieva of Russia, the 2004 US Open runner-up; No. 7 Kim Clijsters of Belgium, the defending US Open champion; No. 8 Francesca Schiavone of Italy, the reigning French Open champion; No. 9 Vera Zvonareva of Russia, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up; and No. 10 Li Na of China. 
Other American women who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include No. 42 Melanie Oudin of Marietta, Ga., who last year became the youngest American to reach the US Open quarterfinals since 1999; No. 80 Vania King of Long Beach, Calif.; No. 95 Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix, Ariz.; and No. 98 Jill Craybas of Huntington Beach, Calif.   
Three players – Anne Keothavong of Great Britain, Urszula Radwanska of Poland and Jelena Kostanic Tosic of Croatia – received direct entry due to special rankings, while Sandra Zahlavova of the Czech Republic, ranked No. 102, was the 104th and last player accepted directly into the women’s field of 128.  Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 24-27, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.   
Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the inaugural US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship, held during the Olympus US Open Series event in Stanford, Calif. next week.  The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs this year and allowed players 14-and-older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 16 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments.
The July 19 edition of the WTA Tour rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list.  Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.