Draw unveiled for 2011 US Open

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Djokovic faces old foes at US Open

Serena Williams of the US pretends to use the trophy as a tennis racket after defeating Samantha Stosur of Australia during their finals match at the Rogers Cup women's tennis tournament in Toronto, Aug 14, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Serena's return

The return of American Serena Williams provided an element of suspense and intrigue to the women's draw, weakened by the absence of injured Belgian Kim Clijsters, who won the title the past two years.

Williams, the dominant figure in women's tennis over the past decade, has won the US Open three times but the former world number one was relegated to 28th seed after her ranking tumbled during her long absence from the game, because of health problems.

The 29-year-old American has won two tournaments since returning and was lurking as one of the dangerous floaters in the draw. She was paired to meet Serbia's Bojana Jovanovska in the opening round with fourth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus waiting in the third round.

Williams fared well in the draw. If results go according to seedings, she could face Italy's Francesca Schiavone in the quarter-finals and world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the semis.

The Dane was a runner-up in New York two years ago but has yet to win a grand slam and could faces a tricky quarter-final herself, against China's French Open champion Li Na, after opening against Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain.

Russia's Maria Sharapova, seeded third, was drawn to face Britain's Heather Watson in the first round ahead of a possible quarter-final against Petra Kvitova, the Czech who beat her in this year's Wimbledon final.

Russia's Vera Zvonareva, the world number two and second seed, was pitted against undecided qualifier in the same quarter of the draw as Venus Williams, who was unseeded after a long layoff.


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