World’s top women to compete at US Open

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Caroline Wozniacki is among the top women at the US Open.Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Caroline Wozniacki is among the top women at the US Open.

The USTA has announced that all 102 of the world’s top women, including 2012 Grand Slam singles champions Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka are entered in the women’s singles field for the 2012 US Open Tennis Championships.

Williams, Sharapova, and Azarenka will be joined in the field by former US Open champions Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur, the defending champion. In all, 37 different countries are represented in the women’s field.

Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.9 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.9 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The US Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by JPMorgan Chase.

Three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters will make her final appearance in Flushing Meadows after announcing she will retire this year. Clijsters won the 2005, 2009 and 2010 US Open. She holds a 21-match winning streak at the US Open having not competed in Flushing from 2006-2008 and last year. In 2009, Clijsters became the first unseeded player and first wild card to win the US Open women’s singles title.

Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who won her first Grand Slam singles title at the 2012 Australian Open, defeating Maria Sharapova in the final. With the win,

Azarenka ascended to No. 1 in the world for the first time in her career.

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, is ranked a career-high No. 2 in the world. She pushed Serena Williams to three sets in the 2012 Wimbledon final and became the first Polish player in the Open Era to reach a Grand Slam singles final.

World No. 3 Maria Sharapova of Russia, won the 2012 French Open title and subsequently captured the career Grand Slam with the win. She also regained the world No. 1 ranking following the French Open and through Wimbledon—a ranking she had not held since May 2008.

Following Azarenka, Radwanska, and Sharapova on the entry list are No. 4 Serena Williams, who won her fifth Wimbledon title this year and 14th Grand Slam singles title overall; No. 5 Samantha Stosur of Australia, the defending US Open champion; No. 6 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, the 2011 Wimbledon champion; No. 7 Angelique Kerber of Germany, a 2012 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the 2009 US Open runner-up; No. 9 Sara Errani of Italy, the 2012 French Open runner-up; and No. 10 Marion Bartoli of France, the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up.

Altogether, there are 10 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, and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

Virginie Razzano of France, ranked No. 102, is the last player accepted directly into the women’s field of 128. Additionally, two players used protected rankings to gain direct entry—Agnes Szavay of Hungary, and Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 21-24, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

Other American women who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include: No. 27

Christina McHale of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and No. 44 Varvara Lepchenko of Allentown, Pa., who

both train at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at the USTA Training Center-East

and have been named to the U.S. Olympic Team; No. 50 Sloane Stephens of Coral Springs, Fla.;

No. 59 Vania King of Boynton Beach, Fla.; No. 68 Venus Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.,

the 2000 and 2001 US Open champion; No. 69 Coco Vandeweghe of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the

2008 US Open girls’ singles champion; No. 84 Jamie Hampton of Auburn, Ala.; and No. 85 Irina

Falconi of Atlanta.

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the third annual US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship presented by playtennis.com, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open

Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs last year to allow players

14-and-older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying

Tournament via one of 13 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments.

The July 16 edition of the WTA 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 2012 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of 10 ATP World Tour and WTA events that began July 9. The US Open is the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. More than 80 million viewers watched the 2011 US Open on CBS Sports, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel, and international broadcasts reached 180 countries.