Serena Williams will enter the 2011 U.S. Open field on the merit of her No. 1 ranking before injuries sidelined her for over six months.
Normally, only the top 105 players in the world are allowed to enter into the U.S. Open field. Williams is currently ranked No. 172 in the world, but because her injury grants her special status, she is allowed to enter up to eight professional tournaments including one grand slam.
“I have nothing to lose,” Williams said Wednesday. “I think that’s when people are the most dangerous.”
Williams lost her top ranking after pulling out of the 2011 Australian Open due to complications with a foot injury. Her loss to Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon earlier this summer plummeted even further down the rankings.
Williams will prepare for the Aug. 29 tournament with WTA events in Stanford, Toronto and Cincinnati.
“It was really awful to miss the Open last year,” Williams said. “My goal is to make sure I’m really fit. It’s the longest I’ve taken ever taken off from tennis, so it’s a challenge.”
For more tennis coverage, be sure to check out SBNation's tennis hub.