Serena to start against Schiavone

23 August 2013 20:11:03 GMTPlus11

Serena Williams has been drawn against the 2010 French Open winner Francesca Schiavone in the first round of this year's US Open.

The 33-year-old Italian also reached the final of the 2011 French Open and was as high as four in the world rankings less than three years ago, although her current ranking has slipped to 56.

Williams, 2/5 to win the US Open outright, is in a rich vein of form, having won 60 of her 64 matches in 2013. She recently won in Toronto before being beaten by Victoria Azarenka, 11/4 to win the US Open outright, in last weekend's Cincinnati final.

Williams will be looking to clinch her second Grand Slam of the year after her success at the French Open, although she did suffer a shock defeat to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon and a quarter-final loss to Sloane Stephens at the Australian Open.

This year's tournament at Flushing Meadows will be without Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, who announced her shock retirement from the game earlier this month, and Maria Sharapova, who has a shoulder injury.

As a result of their absence, Sara Errani, 1212/1 to win the US Open outright, has moved up from fifth to fourth in the seedings, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has been promoted to the 32nd seed.

Agnieszka Radwanska is seeded to meet Serena Williams in the semi-finals but the Polish player will have to get past Li Na, Lisicki and Jelena Jankovic if she is reach the last four.

In Azarenka's half of the draw is Ana Inanovic, Petra Kvitoa and Samantha Stosur.

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