Defending champion Serena Williams yesterday was officially designated the No. 1 seed for this year's U.S. Open, which commences its 15-day run on Monday. With recent tennis custom of seeding Grand Slam tournaments according to the most recent tour rankings, the only departure from the Women's Tennis Association's Top 32 in the Open seeding is the absence of No. 7 Marion Bartoli.
Bartoli, whose Wimbledon title last month was her first major championship, surprised the tennis community by announcing her retirement at last week's Mason, Ohio, event. Reigning Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is seeded second and Russia's Maria Sharapova, who has won all four majors during her career, is No. 3.
Williams, 31, has won the Open four times and has 16 career major tournament titles, only two short of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 apiece). The record for major championships is Margaret Court, with 24.
Other former Open champions in this year's field are No. 12 Samantha Stosur of Australia, No. 28 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Williams' sister, Venus, who is unseeded.
The men's seeds, led by No. 1 Novak Djokovic, were announced Monday. The tournament draw will be conducted Thursday.