WHITE PLAINS // Serena Williams has elected to use an injury-protected ranking to gain entry to the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the season, the US Tennis Association has said.
The USTA announced a provisional women's field for the tournament, which starts on August 29 in New York, that includes 97 of the top 100 in the world rankings.
Only the top 105-ranked players in the world are granted direct entry into the 128-woman field.
However Williams, the 13-time Grand Slam champion and former world No 1 whose ranking has plummeted to 172nd in the world after a series of health issues, has the option of using the system in which a player who has been sidelined for six months or more by injury can use a special injury-protected ranking to enter up to eight tournaments, including one Grand Slam.
Shortly after winning Wimbledon in 2010, Williams cut her foot on a piece of glass, an injury that required surgery. She then dealt with life-threatening blood clots and was out of action for 11 months.
The provisional US Open women's field also includes two-time defending US Open champion and reigning Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters, 2011 French Open champion Li Na of China and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.