Serena Williams into US Open with special ranking

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- Serena Williams is using her special injury-protected No. 1 ranking to get into the U.S. Open field.

She 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 in New York. 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.