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Martin Rogers

Power Rankings: Venus drops

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Turn back the clock eight years and Venus Williams was the most dominant women's hard-court player on the planet.

The elder Williams sister won the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001, beating Lindsey Davenport and younger sister Serena in the finals, and looked unstoppable on the surface.

However, recent years have brought a barren streak on cement for Venus, who has struggled in the U.S. Open ever since and has not won a hard-court title on U.S. soil since 2002.

Her problems have been highlighted over the past two weeks, with losses to Katerina Bonderenko and Flavia Pennetta proving her game is some way from its peak.

Williams drops to No. 4 in the Yahoo! Sports Power Rankings, while Dinara Safina and Elena Dementieva both move up a place.

Maria Sharapova's fine run to the final in Toronto shifts her up two places, while Flavia Pennetta drops out of the top eight. Previous rankings are in parentheses.

1. (1) Serena Williams - Ordinary in warm-up events but a big favorite for U.S. Open.

2. (3) Dinara Safina - Coming into hard-court form.

3. (4) Elena Dementieva - Stellar performance in Toronto.

4. (2) Venus Williams - Worrying dip in recent weeks.

5. (7) Maria Sharapova - Fitness is back and so is the form.

6. (6) Svetlana Kuznetsova - Inconsistency has plagued her since French Open.

7. (5) Victoria Azarenka - Struggling to regain early-season momentum.

8. (NR) Jelena Jankovic - Rejuvenated her season by winning Cincinnati.

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