The USTA announced that 97 of the top 100 women, including  two-time defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters, and fellow singles champions  Li Na and Petra Kvitova, are entered in the women’s singles field for the 2011  US Open Tennis Championships.

Clijsters, Li and Kvitova will be joined  in the field by former US Open champions Serena Williams, Venus Williams,  Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova. 

Serena Williams, who won the  US Open in 1999, 2002 and 2008, utilized a special ranking to gain entry into  the field after missing nearly an entire year of competition due to injury.  Alona Bondarenko also gained entry via a special ranking.

The 2011 US  Open will be played August 29 – September 11 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 $1.8 million with the ability to earn an  additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.8 million
potential  payout) based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series.  

Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova will miss this year’s event following her   announcement that she is receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and former world No. 1 Dinara Safina and Timea Bacsinszky will also sit out due to 

Kim Clijsters, the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, will have the opportunity to win her second major of the year, and fifth overall, at this year’s US Open.  She will also attempt to become the first female to win three consecutive US Open singles titles since Chris Evert (1976-78).  Additionally, she will look to extend her winning streak of 21 consecutive matches at the US Open, as she has won the title each of the last three times she has played (2005, 2009-10).  Reigning French Open and Wimbledon champions Li and Kvitova will each attempt to win her first US Open and second career major title. 

Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who reached her first major final at the 2009 US Open.  Following Wozniacki on the entry list are No. 2 Kim Clijsters, No. 3 Vera Zvonareva, No. 4 Victoria Azarenka; No. 5 Maria Sharapova,  No. 6 Li Na, No. 7 Petra Kvitova, No. 8 Francesca Schiavone, No. 9 Marion Bartoli and No. 10 Samantha Stosur.

Other American women who received direct entry into this  year’s tournament include No. 30 Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix, the highest-ranked American in the field; No. 35 Venus Williams, No. 67 Christina McHale. No. 90 Vania King, No. 99 Coco Vandeweghe, No. 100 Melanie Oudin, No. 101 Varvara Lepchenko and No. 102 Irina Falconi. 

Misaki Doi of Japan, ranked No. 105, 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 23-26, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA. 

The July 18 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.

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