The first blows struck in the 2011 US Open are still more  than a month away at Flushing Meadows but former world no.1 and three times  champion Serena Williams has elected to use an injury-protected ranking to gain  entry to the concluding major of the year.

Initially 97 of the world’s  top 100 players on the WTA world rankings have been announced by the United  States Tennis Association in the provisional women’s field for the tournament,  which starts on August 29 at New York’s Flushing Meadows. 

Despite being  a 13-time major champion, Serena Williams’ ranking has
plummeted to 172nd in the  world after a playing just two tournaments in more
than a year and losing at the  fourth round in defense of her Wimbledon title.
She has however contributed to  Washington Kastles 100% 14-0 record in the
regular season of World Team Tennis.

Under WTA rules, Serena has the option of using a special  injury-protected ranking to enter up to eight tournaments, including one major.  “I have nothing to lose,” she maintained. “I think that’s when people are the  most dangerous.”

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