July 16 (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams, coming off a surprise third round loss at Wimbledon, heads the women's field for the U.S. Open, which starts in New York in late August.
Players from 36 countries are represented, the U.S. Tennis Association announced on Wednesday, with two-time defending champion Williams heading an 11-strong American contingent for the Aug. 25-Sept. 8 event.
Williams has five U.S. Open crowns, just one shy of the modern era record held by compatriot Chris Evert.
Joining Williams in the top four are Li Na of China, Simona Halep of Romania and this month's Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
The field also includes French Open champion Maria Sharapova, two-time U.S. Open champion Venus Williams and former U.S. Open champions Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The latest WTA rankings were used to determine the main draw entry list for the final Grand Slam event of 2014 but seeds will be announced closer to the event. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry)