Women's Open draw: Serena appears unstoppable

Martin Rogers

It is starting to feel like 2002 in women's tennis, as Serena Williams grunts and swipes a blistering trail through the Grand Slam year.

Seven years ago Williams blasted her way to three Slam titles, before completing the "Serena Slam" at the following year's Australian Open.

That sense of inevitability is back, with Williams looking dominant in lifting the Aussie and Wimbledon titles in 2009.

Despite a series of dismal results in smaller events, there seems to be no stopping her when it really counts.

Williams is a red-hot favorite heading into the U.S. Open on Monday and it is hard to identify a player in the field who has a realistic chance of toppling her if she is in any kind of form.

A semifinal meeting between Serena and her big sister Venus is a possibility, although Venus could falter against rising star Victoria Azarenka in the quarters.

The most intriguing potential matchup in the early rounds is between Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova, who is seeded down at No. 29 as she hikes the comeback trail from injury.

Sharapova lost to Dementieva in the Toronto final but is quickly rediscovering form and is a player no high seed wants to run into.

World No. 1 Dinara Safina has a point to prove, with the sniping critics highlighting her failure to win a Slam despite three times reaching the final.

However, while Safina has the game and mentality to take her to the title game, it's going to be Serena-time, once again.


Quarterfinals: Safina beats Lisicki; Sharapova beats Caroline Wozniacki; Azarenka beats V. Williams; S. Williams beats Pennetta

Semifinals: Safina beats Sharapova; S. Williams beats Azarenka

Final: S. Williams beats Safina

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