Serena Williams again for Woz

Dane scheduled to play Wimbledon and Olympic champion in the last eight at US Open

Caroline Wozniacki has been handed a relatively easy draw at next week’s US Open – up until the quarter-finals. Because in her path, once again, stands the formidable Serena Williams, the Wimbledon and Olympic champion who is favourite to add the US Open crown to her 2012 haul.

The world number eight beat Williams for the first time in her career at March’s Miami Open, but since then has lost twice to the American, who knocked her out of the US Open in the semis last year. And in their last meeting, at the Olympics, she only won three games.

It was an emphatic end to an Olympic bid in which the Dane had acquitted herself well, and like in London, she will once again be cursing her luck that she is drawn to meet Williams, who is enjoying some of the best form of her career.

For over a year, Wozniacki was the world number one, and while her critics liked to remind her that it didn’t really mean much, it did mean that she got easier draws at grand slams.

And should she lose to Williams, or even earlier, she will see a sharp drop in her ranking as she is defending the 900 points she earned for making the semis in 2011. Defeat in the quarter would see her lose 400 points. A first or second round exit would be an absolute disaster for her and see her drop out of the top ten.

First up for Wozniacki is Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu, the world number 84, and should she prevail, she is likely to face Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa (58) in the second round, Japan’s Ayumi Morita (46) in the third, and Italy’s Francesca Schiavone (25, clay specialist) or Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic (12, hasn’t made a grand slam quarter-final since 2008) in the fourth.

Wozniacki is currently competing at the New Haven Championship in Yale, where she is a four-time defending champion. It’s a minor tournament that she has never really been challenged at – until this year. Breezing through to the semis yesterday with a ruthless 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, she faces Russia’s Maria Kirilenko in the semis later today and, should she make it, most probably Czech player Petra Kvitova in Saturday’s final – a player she has lost to in their last three meetings.

Wozniacki is 50/1 (Bet 365 or Ladbroke’s) to win the US Open, while Williams is the even money (Bet 365 or Ladbroke’s) favourite.