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Published: Thursday July 21, 2011 MYT 8:30:00 AM

Serena Williams into US Open with special ranking

NEW YORK (AP): Serena Williams is using her special injury-protected No. 1 ranking to get into the U.S. Open field.

"I have nothing to lose," Williams said Wednesday at a news conference before a World Team Tennis event. "I think that's when people are the most dangerous."

Williams is ranked 172nd this week, and only the top 105 players have been granted direct entry into the field for the year's last major championship, which starts Aug. 29.

But because Williams was sidelined more than six months by a series of health issues, she has the right to use her special ranking to enter up to eight tournaments, including one Grand Slam.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Wednesday that the provisional field for the U.S. Open has 97 of the top 100 women in the WTA rankings, including two-time defending champion Kim Clijsters, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and French Open champion Li Na.

Williams said she expects to play in upcoming WTA tournaments at Stanford, Toronto and Cincinnati to get into shape.

"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."

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