Serena Williams
Two-time defending champion Serena Williams is given top seed for the US Open.Reuters

Defending champion and title favourite Serena Williams will start as the top-seeded player in the US Open, while Romania's Simona Halep is seeded second in the list announced by the US Tennis Association (USTA) on Wednesday.

The five-time winner at the Flushing Meadows, Serena has recently won her first Cincinnati Masters title in Mason and also clinched US Open Series women's crown. She started her US Open preparations with a title win in Stanford and reached the semifinals of the Toronto Masters.

Serena hasn't won a grand slam this year, as she crashed out in the fourth round of the Australian Open, while she lost in the second round of the French Open and made third round exit in the Wimbledon.

The world number one, however, is in fine shape ahead of the final major of the year and for the first time played three preparatory tournaments before the championship.

Serena is all set to defend her title and a major win here will put her on level terms with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as the second-most singles Grand Slam winner with 18 titles in an open era. Steffi Graf holds the record of 22 singles major titles.

"I just love to play," Serena said. "I love being out here. I love the competition. I love this moment. I love holding up the trophy and I love doing the work that it takes to hold up a trophy. For me, there is no better feeling."

"At the end of the day I definitely want to be able to win majors and then just pick and choose really carefully around the tournaments," she added. "Although 32 is the new 22, it's still 32. Or 33 in a couple of weeks... So, yeah, I just want to make some really smart decisions going into my future because I want to continue to play for a long time."

Meanwhile, Halep, who lost in the final of the French Open, is the second-seeded, while reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is third, followed by Agnieszka Radwanska. They have been benefitted from the withdrawal of Li Na, who is out due to a knee injury.

Reigning champion at the Roland Garros and 2006 US Open winner Maria Sharapova is fifth seed, Germany's Angelique Kerber is sixth and Canadian sensation Eugenie Bouchard is seventh. Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki complete the top-10.

Two-time runner-up at the Flushing Meadows, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is given 16th seed, while Venus Williams - a two-time winner here – is seeded 20th.

Top-10 seeds for this year's women's singles draw:

  1. Serena Williams, United States
  2. Simona Halep, Romania
  3. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
  4. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland
  5. Maria Sharapova, Russia
  6. Angelique Kerber, Germany
  7. Eugenie Bouchard, Canada
  8. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia
  9. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia
  10. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark
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