New York: World number one Serena Williams (pictured), coming off a surprise third round loss at Wimbledon, heads the women’s field for the US Open, which starts in New York in late August.
Players from 36 countries are represented, the US Tennis Association announced on Wednesday, with two-time defending champion Williams heading an 11-strong American contingent for the Aug. 25-Sept. 8 event.
Williams has five US Open crowns, just one shy of the modern era record held by compatriot Chris Evert.
Joining Williams in the top four are Li Na of China, Simona Halep of Romania and this month’s Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
The field also includes French Open champion Maria Sharapova, two-time US Open champion Venus Williams and former US Open champions Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The latest WTA rankings were used to determine the main draw entry list for the final Grand Slam event of 2014 but seeds will be announced closer to the event.
Meanwhile the global management company IMG said yesterday it had split with troubled Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic, reportedly amid concerns over his off-court behaviour.
The agency used social media to announce it had cut ties with the 21-year-old, but did not specify its reasons. “IMG and Bernard Tomic have mutually ended our relationship,” IMG Tennis tweeted.
“We wish Bernard great success on and off the tennis court.”
Reports in tennis publications said his off-court behaviour was behind the split. Tomic had been with IMG since he was 13, before he won the boys’ titles at the 2008 Australian Open and 2009 US Open.
Their agreement spawned marketing deals potentially worth millions of dollars.
But in the space of two years, since reaching the fourth round of the 2012 Australian Open, Tomic has slipped from a career-high world ranking of 27 to a current 124. His career has nosedived since withdrawing in the first round of the Australian Open against Rafael Nadal. He underwent double hip surgery shortly afterwards and then suffered a record 26-minute defeat on his comeback event at Miami.
Last year, his father John was banned from attending the French Open, even as a paying spectator, after he was charged with assaulting his son’s hitting partner, Frenchman Thomas Drouet in Madrid.
Drouet was left with a broken nose after a brawl broke out in front of the players’ hotel in the Spanish capital.
Tomic himself has also been in the headlines in recent years for the wrong reasons, including run-ins with police in his sports car.