Serena ready for US Open

NEW YORK - Eight-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, declaring she has recovered from a nagging thumb injury, said she was proud to show off her body in a nearly nude magazine photograph for charity.

NEW YORK - Eight-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, declaring she has recovered from a nagging thumb injury, said she was proud to show off her body in a nearly nude magazine photograph for charity.

Two days before she plays her first match at the US Open against Germany's Angelique Kerber, eighth seed Williams said she was not embarrassed at baring nearly all in the latest issue of Jane.

In the picture, part of a series for the charity "Clothes Off Our Backs", Williams wore only high-heeled shoes and held carefully placed flowers and a hand to cover her more private areas.

"I thought it was a great photo. It was for a great cause," Williams said.

"I thought it was simply divine personally. I have gotten a lot of great compliments on it."

Serena has struggled with a sore thumb this year but she declared that was behind her and she expected to play well at Flushing Meadows for a fortnight despite playing no Wimbledon or US Open tune-up events.

"Thumbs up," Williams said. "I'm totally fine. I'm always playing with not many matches. I've been practising so much. I'm so excited the US Open is here.

"I'm pretty much over practising. It's dreadful. I'm ready to play matches.

"It's definitely important to play matches but I also think it's important to have faith in your game," she added. -Sapa-AFP

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