Venus Williams confirmed her participation in next week's U.S. Open during a teleconference Tuesday, but remained vague about her own and her sister's injuries that kept both away from the summer hard-court season.

"I had a tough summer, bad luck with my leg, but I'm ready for the Open, thank God," Williams said. "I'm still training to get ready."

Seeded No. 3 in the women's field, Williams danced around questions about her competitive readiness, her chances for a title and the level of challenge she might be offered in a tournament that is suffering from key absences.

Besides her sister Serena, who would have been top seed, the Open will be without defending men's champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who is rehabilitating a surgical wrist. Defending women's champion Kim Clijsters developed a problem with her thigh during last week's Open tuneup in Montreal.

Serena Williams pulled out of the Open on Friday because of a still-mysterious cut on her foot, shortly after Venus was a late withdrawal from Montreal, citing a knee problem. Venus hasn't played since Wimbledon.

Asked about Serena, victim of a laceration that was reported to be either on the top or bottom of her right foot and apparently required surgery in mid-July, Venus said: "I think Serena released as much information as she wanted to about her leg. Traditionally, we don't talk about our injuries. We just want to play and don't want people to feel sorry for us."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Pressed for details on scuttling her Montreal plans, Venus said she "sprained my kneecap. I was out for a second. A long second. I had a tough summer on the sidelines . . . But I've been working on my game and getting ready, doing the best I can with the circumstances, and just because they weren't the circumstances I wanted doesn't mean I can't be successful."

In seedings released Tuesday, Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, last year's runner-up, is No. 1 and Clijsters No. 2. Others in the top 10 after Williams are Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, Australia's Samantha Stosur, reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, Russia's Vera Zvonareva, China's Li Na, Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

"I'm just focused on what I can do," Venus Williams said. "I'm not even focused on other people. I'm just trying to win. No match is a given match."

Venus indicated, though not explicitly, that with Serena unavailable, she will skip the Open's doubles competition. "I don't know if I can do it without her," she said.

The tournament draw for the Open, which begins Monday, will be Thursday.