US Open: Serena Williams is wary of first-round opponent Francesca Schiavone
Last Updated: 27/08/13 9:49am
Serena Williams: Ready for the start of her US Open defence
Top seed and world No 1 Serena Williams says she doesn't need another grand slam to make this a special year.
"Everything I do from this day forward is a bonus. Everything for me is just extra."
The 31-year-old recently claimed her eighth WTA title of the season in Toronto, to add to her French Open success.
And now the American is ready for the start of her US Open defence against Italy's 54th-ranked Francesca Schiavone at Flushing Meadows.
"That's the beauty of my career. I don't need to do anything at all," Williams said. "Everything I do from this day forward is a bonus. Everything for me is just extra."
Williams, seeking her 17th major singles crown and her fifth title in New York, has a 5-2 all-time winning record against Schiavone.
However, Williams is wary of her opponent, who is two years her senior, as she opens up her campaign on Arthur Ashe following the opening ceremony.
"It will be a good match," admitted the four-time US Open champion. "She's a really good player. She's a big fighter and she's dangerous."
Williams has also been impressed by the progress made by compatriot Sloane Stephens, who rose to a world ranking career high of 15 in July.
The 20-year-old ousted Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals and could be a possible fourth-round opponent.
"Sloane has had such a good year," said Williams. "She's such a good player and she is so smooth. She just has this game and this confidence that's not easy to get. It's so good to see her doing well."