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We take a look at how the leading ladies are shaping up ahead of the year's final Grand Slam. Please note that any opinions expressed are those of the author and are entirely independent of Ana
1 Amelie Mauresmo
The Frenchwoman has appeared in only one tournament since winning Wimbledon two months ago because of a shoulder injury. On her return to action in New Haven this week she lost 6-4, 7-5 to Lindsay Davenport. Her best ever showing in New York is a semi-final appearance in 2002.
2 Justine Henin-Hardenne
Like Mauresmo, Henin-Hardenne missed almost the entire US Open Series due to injury – the Belgian struggled with a knee complaint. However, she was on top form in New Haven this week, where she won the title. She was a winner here two years ago and looks like the player to beat.
3 Maria Sharapova
Sharapova seemed to be in top form at the Acura Classic in San Diego, which she won without dropping a set. She lost to Elena Dementieva in Los Angeles but said that tiredness had been a contributing factor. She was beaten in three sets to eventual winner Kim Clijsters last year and was runner-up to Ana in the US Open Series.
4 Elena Dementieva
The Russian had a strong North American hard court season. She won Los Angeles and reached the quarter-finals of both San Diego and New Haven. Winners aside, no woman has achieved as much success in New York as Dementieva in the last two seasons: she was runner-up in 2004 and reached the semi-finals last year.
5 Nadia Petrova
Petrova has not won a match since the French Open, where she injured her leg and missed a full two months of competition. She has played well here in the past ( and if she can string a few wins together she could be dangerous.
6 Svetlana Kuznetsova
Justine Henin-Hardenne beat the Russian, who won this event in 2004, in the semi-finals of New Haven on Friday. It was only Kuznetsova’s second tournament since Wimbledon – she lost to Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals of Montreal.
7 Patty Schnyder
One of the few players to compete in four US Open Series events, Schnyder compiled a 9-4 win-loss record. The highlight was an appearance in the Bank of the West Classic final in Stanford. Her best ever finish at Flushing Meadows is reaching the quarter-finals eight years ago.
8 Martina Hingis
The Swiss re-entered the top 10 for the first time in four years when she reached the final in Montreal, where Ana beat her. She won here in 1997, the year in which she was a French Open final win away from completing the calendar Grand Slam.
9 Nicole Vaidisova
The Czech finds herself seeded in the top 10 for the first time at a Grand Slam. It took world No.2 Kim Clijsters to beat her at both US Open series tournaments that she played, and she withdrew from Montreal because of a shoulder injury. The 17-year-old already has six titles to her name, but none of them are at Tier II level or higher.
10 Lindsay Davenport
In only her second tournament since March, the American No.1 reached the New Haven final. She trailed Henin-Hardenne 6-0, 1-0 when she was forced to retire with a right shoulder strain so her appearance in New York must be in some doubt.
11 Anastasia Myskina
The Russian No.5’s best performance in New York is reaching the quarter-finals in 2003. Unusual pre-US Open scheduling saw her play in Cincinnati before reaching the final of Stockholm, then appearing in two more North American events – she lost her opening round matches in Montreal and New Haven.
12 Dinara Safina
In her last match before the US Open, Safina lost to Ana in the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. She reached the quarter-finals of Los Angeles but suffered a shock first round defeat to Paula Suarez in San Diego.
13 Mary Pierce
The Frenchwoman, who was runner-up last year, made a successful return to the Tour after a six-month footy injury-enforced absence by reaching the quarter-finals in San Diego. But it would be asking a lot for her to go far here, given her lack of match practice.
14 Francesca Schiavone
After her ranking peaked at No.11 earlier in the season, the Italian has gone off the boil somewhat: she has lost five of her last seven matches. Reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open in 2003 equalled her best ever Grand Slam finish.
15 Anna-Lena Groenefeld
Groenefeld endured a disappointing US Open Series. The 21-year-old German only managed to win two matches in four tournaments. Ana beat her in the third round of Los Angeles, where she was the sixth seed. She reached that same stage here last year – her best ever showing.
16 ANA IVANOVIC
By Gavin Versi