When healthy, there is no more dominant figure in professional tennis than Serena Williams. Her powerful serve and groundstrokes are complimented by top-class (though sometimes nervy) volleys and a strong defensive game.
But with an injury to her foot and a hematoma and pulmonary embolism, Serena fell all the way to No. 175 in the world.
With a win at the Bank of the West Classic to end July, Williams jumped to No. 79, but it's been almost two years since Serena has won a Grand Slam tournament.
I think that Serena will win the 2011 U.S. Open, but I wouldn't bet much on it. There's a lot of variables and, for once in women's tennis, quite a bit of competition.
Serena will be up against it at Flushing Meadows this year, battling herself, opponents old and new, and even the rowdy New York City crowd.