U.S. Open: Serena Williams seeded No. 17, Rafael Nadal No. 1

Serena Williams got a seed nine spot above her rank

This marks the third consecutive year the younger Williams sister has clinched the number one spot, despite only earning $62,000 in prize money in the past year due to taking a break from competition while pregnant. A victory, which would be her record-setting 24th major championship, would net her $3.8 million - the biggest prize tennis history.

Though Forbes did not include a woman in their ranking of the world's top 100 highest earning athletes of 2018 after Williams' earnings fell by approximately $10 million since the year prior, only 16 male athletes earned more than Williams in sponsorship money over the last 12 months.

Top seed Halep faces Estonia's Kaia Kanepi while Danish world number two Caroline Wozniacki meets former U.S. Open victor Samantha Stosur of Australia in the first round, with another champion, Russia's 2004 victor Svetlana Kuznetsova, drawn against 16th-seeded Venus in her opener.

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Rounding out the top five - all of which are tennis players - are Caroline Wozniacki ($13.1 million), Stephens ($11.2 million), Garbiñe Muguruza ($11 million) and Maria Sharapova ($10.5 million). This is down 4 percent from last year and 28 percent from five years ago.

Indian badminton player P.V. Sindhu - with $8.5 million - and retired race vehicle driver Danica Patrick, who earned $7.5 million are the only non-tennis players to enter the top-10, placing seventh and ninth respectively. Williams missed last year's tournament because of pregnancy.

Serena, a six-times champion in NY who is seeded 17th, will start her campaign against Polish world number 60 Magda Linette and could face Venus in the third round before a possible fourth-round showdown with Romanian top seed Halep.

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23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is enjoying some downtime ahead of next week's US Open.

In the men's field, No. 1-ranked and defending champion Rafael Nadal opens against David Ferrer in an all-Spanish rematch of their 2013 French Open final.

Should the unseeded Murray advance, he would face Fernando Verdasco or Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the second round before a projected third-round clash against Argentine third seed and 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro.

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