Starpower at the U.S. Open continues to fade as Venus Williams withdrew from the tournament with an unspecified illness. The loss of such a prominent player further dampens the shine on the women's draw. Defending champion Kim Clijsters, who won the Australian this year, coupled with losses by Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and French Open winner Li Na in the first round means there are no defending Grand Slam players left in the draw.
On the bright side, there are some young American women who have performed well, including New Jersey's Christine McHale, who beat No. 8 Marion Bartoli 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the second round on the Grandstand Court.
UPDATE: Williams said she was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain. Follow the developing story here.