Top players headline 2009 US Open Women’s Field

July 23, 2009

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA announced today that both 2009 Grand Slam singles champions — Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova — will be joined by former US Open women’s singles champions Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters, a wild card recipient, in the women’s singles field for the 2009 US Open Tennis Championships.

Ninety-nine of the Top 100 women, representing 34 different countries, are entered in the 2009 US Open. No. 88 Nathalie Dechy of France received direct acceptance but withdrew from the event when she announced her retirement from professional tennis earlier this week to start a family.

Serena Williams, the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, will have the opportunity to win her third Grand Slam of the year, and 12th overall, at the US Open. Reigning French Open champion Kuznetsova, will attempt to win her second US Open – she won in 2004 – and third career major title.

Clijsters, the 2005 US Open champion, has requested and received a wild card entry into this year’s event.

Altogether, there are six players who have won Grand Slam singles titles in their careers competing in the US Open this year, including Amelie Mauresmo of France, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006, and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, who won the 2008 French Open.

The 2009 US Open will be played August 31 – September 13 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 $1.6 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.6 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 Dinara Safina of Russia, who appeared in the final this year at both the Australian Open and French Open. Following Safina on the entry list are No. 2 Serena Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the defending US Open champion who also won in 1999 and 2002; No. 3 Venus Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the 2000 and 2001 US Open champion; No. 4 Elena Dementieva of Russia, the 2004 US Open runner-up; No. 5 Kuznetsova of Russia, the reigning French Open champion; No. 6 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, the 2008 US Open runner-up; No. 7 Vera Zvonareva of Russia; No. 8 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus; No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark; and No. 10 Nadia Petrova of Russia.

Other American women who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include No. 71 Melanie Oudin of Marietta, Ga.; No. 73 Jill Craybas of Huntington Beach, Calif.; No. 81 Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix, Ariz.; and No. 86 Varvara Lepchenko of Allentown, Pa. Additionally, Meghann Shaughnessy of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Laura Granville of Chicago used special rankings of No. 61 and No. 84, respectively, to also gain direct entry.

Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, ranked No. 103, 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 25-28, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

The July 20 edition of the Sony Ericsson 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.

The 2009 US Open will mark the culmination of the Olympus US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking all major ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments in North America to the US Open. The US Open is the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. More than 70 million viewers watched the 2008 US Open on CBS Sports and USA Network, and international broadcasts reached more than 185 countries. In 2008, Roger Federer won his fifth consecutive US Open title, defeating Andy Murray in the final. In the women’s singles final, Serena Williams defeated Jelena Jankovic to capture her third career US Open title.

The 2009 US Open will be held Monday, August 31 through Sunday, September 13. Tickets for the 2009 US Open can be purchased four ways: 1) at; 2) by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; 3) at all Ticketmaster outlets; or 4) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. American Express is the Official Card of the US Open.