With Rafael Nadal pulling numbered chips out of the U.S. Open trophy, the seeds have been placed into the 2011 U.S. Open Women's Singles draw. The seeds project the following quarterfinal match-ups:
- No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) vs. No. 6 Li Na (China)
- No. 4 Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) vs. No. 7 Francesca Schiavone (Italy)
- No. 5 Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) vs. No. 3 Maria Sharapova (Russia)
- No. 8 Marion Bartoli (France) vs. No. 2 Vera Zvonareva (Russia)
The draw sets up potential rematches of two memorable Grand Slam encounters from earlier this year in the quarterfinals. Li Na saved a match point against Caroline Wozniacki in beating her in the semifinals of the 2011 Australian Open, and Petra Kvitova won her first Grand Slam title by defeating Maria Sharapova in the Wimbledon final in July.
The intrigue surrounding this draw did not have to do with where the top eight seeds were placed, however, but which one of them No. 28 seed Serena Williams would be set to face in the third round. That unlucky top seed is No. 4 Victoria Azarenka, whom Serena beat in the semifinals of Toronto earlier this month. Serena faces up-and-coming Serbian Bojana Jovanovski in the first round.
Venus Williams, who is unseeded, faces Vesna Dolonts in the first round, but then has the difficult task of playing No. 21 seed Sabine Lisicki in the second round. Lisicki, who made the semifinals of Wimbledon this year as a wild card, is one of the few women on tour who can match the Williams sisters' in terms of serve velocity and aces.
The full draw can be found here.
Follow SB Nation's storystream for the 2011 U.S. Open for continuing coverage of the year's final Grand Slam.