The withdrawal of the world's number 1 player from the U.S. Open would be unfortunate under any circumstances, but placed in the context of the current run of injuries on the tour, Serena Williams' announcement simply turns a bad scenario into a worse one. Justine Henin, who has an injured elbow, was already out of the Open, Maria Sharapova hurt her heel in Cincinnati, and today, defending champion Kim Clijsters hurt her hip in Montreal.
Sam Stosur has a wild card into the New Haven main draw, but she had to skip both Cincinnati and Montreal because of a sore arm. Venus Williams has knee problems again. And Ana Ivanovic--who was just starting to look like herself again--injured her ankle in Cincinnati. As of this writing, she is hopeful, but not certain, that she'll play in the U.S. Open.
It doesn't end there. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez is just returning from a knee injury layoff, so New Haven will be her only U.S. Open warm-up. The often-injured Sabine Lisicki recently returned to the tour and has had very little match play, and today, Wimbledon doubles champion Vania King retired in Montreal, though I don't know the reason for the retirement. World number 2 Jelena Jankovic recently hurt her ankle.
The U.S. Open is a huge event, and it doesn't bode well that so many good players are either injured or are just returning from injury layoffs. Among the world's top five players, only Caroline Wozniacki is known to be totally healthy, having recovered from an ankle injury she sustained in Charleston. I say "known to be" because I have no idea what Jankovic's health status is at the moment. Here's hoping that she, Stosur, Venus Williams, and Ivanovic will all be feeling fit by August 30.