Serena could face Azarenka in Wimbledon final

8:45 AM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
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Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Red-hot world No. 1 Serena Williams could have an easy road to the semifinals and could face former top-ranked star Victoria Azarenka in the final at The Championships, Wimbledon.

The draw for the 2013 extravaganza was revealed on Friday, and the reigning Wimbledon, French Open and U.S. Open champion Williams will open her latest stay at the All England Club against Luxembourg's Mandy Minella.

Williams appears to have a relatively easy road until the fourth round, where she could face 23rd-seeded grass-court-loving German Sabine Lisicki, who has reached at least the quarterfinals in her last three trips to Wimbledon, including a semifinal appearance two years ago.

The high-flying Williams could meet seventh-seeded German Angelique Kerber or 10th-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko in the quarters and either fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska or sixth-seeded Li Na in the semis. Williams beat Radwanska in last year's Wimbledon finale, while Li was this year's Australian Open runner-up to Azarenka and is a former French Open champ. Radwanska will open against Austrian Yvonne Meusburger, while Li's first opponent on the hallowed lawns will be Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek, who is the half-sister of former men's Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek.

Potential opponents for Williams in the final could be the second-seeded Azarenka or third-seeded Maria Sharapova, who is a former Wimbledon winner and runner-up. Williams beat the former No. 1 Sharapova in the French Open final two weeks ago and defeated Azarenka in last year's U.S. Open title tilt.

Williams has won three of the last four Grand Slam events, with only this year's Aussie championship eluding her grasp. The American superstar is a sizzling 74-3 since losing to Virginie Razzano in the opening round at last year's French Open.

The 31-year-old great is a 16-time major singles champion, with five of her wins coming on the famed grass at Wimbledon.

Azarenka will open her Wimbledon stay against Portugal's Maria Joao Koehler and could face fellow former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round, eighth-seeded 2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova in the quarters and Sharapova in the semis.

Sharapova will open against France's Kristina Mladenovic and could encounter fifth-seeded 2012 French Open runner-up Sara Errani in the quarters before a potential final-four matchup with either Azarenka or Kvitova. Errani could battle ninth-seeded former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki or 17th-seeded American Sloane Stephens in the fourth round. The 2011 Wimbledon titlist Kvitova, who will open against American Coco Vandeweghe next week, could face 12th-seeded former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round.

Williams, her fellow career Grand Slam winner Sharapova, and Kvitova are the only former champions in this year's Wimbledon field.

The 2013 Championships will commence Monday.

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