World number one and defending women's champion Serena Williams has been named as the top seed for this year's US Open.
The American is ranked as the favourite for the title having made good on her top billing last year by beating Victoria Azarenka in the final to claim her 17th grand slam title.
However, she returns to Flushing Meadows 12 months on in the unfamiliar position of having failed to win any of tennis' showpiece events so far this season - having been dumped out in the fourth round of the Australian Open before second and third-round exits at the French Open and Wimbledon respectively.
She has returned to somewhere near her best form of late, beating Ana Ivanovic for the title at the Western and Southern Open last week.
And she insists that she needs little motivation ahead of her bid to repeat her heroics on the grand slam stage.
"I just love to play," Williams told the US Open's official website. "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."
Beaten French Open finalist Simona Halep is seeded second for the tournament while Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is third ranked.
Agnieszka Radwanska is rated fourth while reigning French Open and 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova is seeded fifth.