Happily for her, Serena has what can only be described as a stress-free path back to the US Open final, which she inexplicably lost last year to Samantha Stosur. The only notable names in her path to a semifinal showdown with 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieska Radwanska are Ekaterina Makarova (3rd round) who bounced her from the 2012 Australian Open, and Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinal.
World #1 Victoria Azarenka has a much harder draw. In her half of the draw there is Petra Kvitova, Kim Clijsters, Stosur, Maria Sharapova and Li Na. In order to reach the semifinals in New York (something she has never done before) Azarenka will have to get through Sabine Lisicki and either Clijsters, Stosur or Li in the quarterfinal. If seeds hold the Belarussian would face the winner of the Sharapova.Kvitova quarterfinal in the semifinal.
Interesting first round matches are Sloane Stephens versus Francesca Schiavone, Bethanie Mattek-Sands versus Venus Williams, and Li Na versus Heather Watson.