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QueenO
Jul 31st, 2002, 04:21 PM
Defending champion Venus Williams leads 2002 US Open Women's field

7/30/02 5:20 PM


Serena Williams, Capriati, Seles, Davenport Also Top Field Which Includes Winners of 30 Grand Slam Singles Titles; Women’s Prime Time Final Set for Saturday, September 7

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 30, 2002 - The USTA today announced that defending champion Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport have entered the 2002 US Open Tennis Championships. A total of 101 of the top 104 ranked women in the world are entered in the US Open, which will be played August 26 - September 8 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Women’s Singles Championship, with the winner receiving a record $900,000, is presented by JPMorgan Chase.

The 2002 US Open Women’s Singles Championship will be telecast live Saturday, September 7, at 8:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Television Network, marking the second consecutive year that the US Open Women’s Singles Final will be played in prime time. The US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to present a prime time final on network television.

The Williams sisters of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Capriati of Wesley Chapel, Fla., three Americans who have combined to win the last nine Grand Slam women’s singles titles, are the top three entries in the 2002 US Open. Seles of Bradenton, Fla., and Davenport of Laguna Beach, Calif., round out the top five entries - with these five Americans having combined to win 22 Grand Slam singles titles.

Serena and Venus Williams, Capriati, and Seles are the top four-ranked players on the WTA Tour, respectively, with the Williams sisters and Capriati combining to win every Grand Slam women’s singles title since Wimbledon 2000. This summer, Serena defeated Venus in the French Open and Wimbledon finals, avenging a loss to her older sister in the 2001 US Open Women’s Singles Final. Capriati successfully defended her Australian Open women’s singles title in January for her third career Grand Slam title.

No. 4 Seles has won nine career Grand Slam singles titles, including the 1991 and 1992 US Opens, while No. 9 Davenport is a three-time Grand Slam champion who won the US Open in 1998. Davenport, who will be playing in her first Grand Slam of the year after finishing 2001 as the No. 1 player in the world, has a protected ranking of No. 1. She injured her right knee in the semifinals of the 2001 season-ending championships in November and did not return to the WTA Tour until last week.

The next five entries -- No. 5 Kim Clijsters of Belgium, No. 6 Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia, No. 7 Justine Henin of Belgium, No. 10 Amelie Mauresmo of France and No. 12 Daniela Hantuchova of the Slovak Republic -- comprise a strong group of contenders in search of their first Grand Slam singles title.

No. 8 Martina Hingis of Switzerland, recovering from ankle surgery, is not entered. The 1997 US Open champion and holder of four other Grand Slam singles titles, Hingis had been the No. 1 seed at the US Open from 1997 to 2001.

The 2002 US Open field includes four other former Grand Slam women’s singles champions in No. 23 Iva Majoli of Croatia, the 1997 French Open winner, No. 26 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain, who won the 1994 US Open and the French Open in 1989, 1994, and 1998, No. 49 Mary Pierce of France, the 1995 Australian Open and 2000 French Open champion, and No. 74 Conchita Martinez of Spain, who won Wimbledon in 1994.

Anna Kournikova of Russia, No. 47, is also entered. In addition to Davenport, two other players -- No. 29 Nadia Petrova of Russia, and No. 92 Sandra Cacic of Bradenton, Fla. - used special rankings protected due to injury to enter the US Open.

Other American women who received direct entry in the 2002 US Open include: No. 19 Meghann Shaughnessy of Scottsdale, Ariz., No. 20 Chanda Rubin of Lafayette, La., No. 28 Lisa Raymond of Wayne, Pa., No. 31 Alexandra Stevenson of San Diego, No. 52 Meilen Tu of Porter Ranch, Calif., No. 60 Amy Frazier of Rochester Hills, Mich., No. 63 Marissa Irvin of Santa Monica, Calif., No. 67 Jennifer Hopkins of Leawood, Kan., No. 68 Samantha Reeves of Monona, Wisc., No. 79 Jill Craybas of East Greenwich, R.I., No. 87 Lilia Osterloh of Canal Winchester, Ohio, and No. 92 Laura Granville of Chicago.

Andriana Gersi of the Czech Republic, ranked No. 104, 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 rounds, August 20-23, while the remaining eight spots are wild card entries awarded by the USTA.

The WTA Tour Singles Rankings as of July 15 are used to determine entry into the US Open. The US Open draw will take place August 21.

Tickets for the US Open are available through usopen.org, by calling Ticketmaster at 866-OPEN-TIX, at all Ticketmaster outlets, and at the USTA National Tennis Center box office in Flushing, N.Y. The 2002 US Open will take place at the USTA National Tennis Center Monday, August 26, through Sunday, September 8. The 2002 qualifying tournament will take place August 20-23, with free admission. American Express is the official card of the US Open.

The USTA owns and operates the US Open and selects and supports the teams representing the United States in Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in America, and is a non-profit organization with more than 660,000 members. It invests all its resources to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.