You can bet the good folks at CBS are hoping the top two seeds in the women’s draw of the U.S. Open don’t make the final.
Instead, they are likely hoping for a star-studded Maria Sharapova-Serena Williams primetime showdown on Sept. 8.
Sharapova is the No. 3 seed and Williams No. 4, while Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is the world’s top-ranked woman and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland is No. 2.
Williams (14) and Sharapova (4) have won a combined 18 Grand Slam singles titles, while Azarenka (1) and Radwanska (0) own one.
All things being equal, Serena is the favorite to win her fourth Open title and first since 2008, but she will have to avoid losing her cool like she has in two of the last three years when she exploded at officials and was fined as a result.
“She’s got her eye on the prize,” former tour pro Taylor Dent said of Williams, “and that’s another U.S. Open title.”
WOMEN TO WATCH
» Victoria Azarenka (No. 1 seed)
Seeking her second career Major after winning the Australian Open earlier this year. Could face Sharapova in the semis.
» Maria Sharapova (No. 3 seed)
Sharapova owns a career Grand Slam, including the 2006 U.S. Open, but was crushed by Williams, 6-0, 6-1, in the Olympic gold medal match.
»Serena Williams (No. 4 seed)
The 14-time Grand Slam champion won Wimbledon and the Olympics, but recently had her 19-match winning-streak snapped.
» Kim Clijsters (No. 23 seed)
This is her U.S. Open swan song and is hoping for one last majestic run. Clijsters is 21-0 in her last three trips to Queens.
» Venus Williams (unseeded)
Reached her first semifinal in two years last week in Mason, Ohio, but could face No. 6 Angelique Kerber in the second round.
Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter @AdamZagoria as he covers the U.S. Open all tournament long.