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Serena, Azarenka could clash in U.S. Open final

1:18 PM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
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New York, NY (Sports Network) - If the U.S. Open can produce a 1-versus-2 women's final in two weeks, then top-ranked Serena Williams would meet former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in a rematch of last year's blockbuster championship match.

The draw was held Thursday in New York for the year's final Grand Slam event, which will get underway Monday on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The reigning U.S. and French Open champion Williams will open her latest Big Apple stay against former Roland Garros titlist Francesca Schiavone. The four- time champion and two-time U.S. Open runner-up Williams appears to have a favorable draw until perhaps the fourth round, where she could tangle with 15th-seeded fellow American Sloane Stephens, who stunned the 16-time Grand Slam champion in the quarterfinals at this year's Australian Open.

The 31-year-old Williams could face eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber or her older sister, Venus, who is unseeded this year, in the quarterfinals. Venus is a two-time U.S. Open champ and two-time runner-up. The former world No. 1 beat her younger sibling in the 2001 U.S. Open final and lost to Serena in a rematch in Flushing Meadows the following year.

Venus will open up against 12th-seeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, who was a surprise Wimbledon semifinalist last month.

Serena's potential semifinal opponent could be third-seeded 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska or fifth-seeded 2013 Aussie Open runner-up Li Na. The former French Open titlist Li could face ninth-seeded former world No. 1 and 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round in Flushing.

Serena will attempt to reach her third straight U.S. Open final and repeat for a first time in New York. She was a stunning 2011 runner-up here to Aussie Samantha Stosur.

The bottom half of the women's draw is spearheaded by the second-seeded Azarenka, who upset Serena in last week's marquee hardcourt finale in Cincinnati.

The two-time reigning Aussie Open champ Azarenka will open against German Dinah Pfizenmaier and appears to have a nice patch to the quarterfinals, where she could meet seventh-seeded former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova, who could be opposed by an 11th-seeded Stosur in the round of 16.

If Azarenka can make it to the semifinals, fourth-seeded former French Open runner-up Sara Errani or sixth-seeded former No. 1 and 2009 U.S. Open runner- up Caroline Wozniacki could be waiting.

World No. 3 star and French Open runner-up Maria Sharapova, the 2006 U.S. Open champ, pulled out of America's Open on Wednesday because of a shoulder injury.

The Sports Network

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