Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic to get early tests at US Open

— -- NEW YORK -- Top-ranked Serena Williams, who is seeking a record 23rd Grand Slam title, will meet two-time major semifinalist Ekaterina Makarova in the first round of the US Open, it was announced Friday.

Makarova made two straight major semis: at the 2014 US Open, where she lost to Williams, and the 2015 Australian Open. Her ranking has slipped to 36th, and she just missed a seed at Flushing Meadows. The Russian is coming off an Olympic doubles gold medal.

"I'm OK with it," Williams said of the match. "I think I try to look at it as we all always have tough matches. I played her I think in the semis before. I know she's a good player. I've just got to do the best I can."

Williams said she hasn't practiced much because of an injury to her right shoulder, which bothered her during her third-round loss at the Olympics and was the reason she pulled out of the hard-court warm-up event in Cincinnati.

"I have not played a lot, I haven't practiced a lot, but I'm just now starting to feel a little better," said Williams, who added that she's been doing a lot of physical therapy.

Williams could face fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals, which is also when she could potentially meet sister Venus. Australian Open champ Angelique Kerber and French Open winner Garbine Muguruza are in the other half of the draw, which was set Friday.

Williams is tied with Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slam titles during the Open era.

On the men's side, top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who injured his left wrist just before the Rio Olympics,?will open the final Grand Slam event of the season against 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz.

Janowicz has been ranked as high as 14th but has struggled in recent years and missed much of this season because of injuries. He's currently ranked 228th and used a protected ranking to get into the US Open.

The right-handed Djokovic, who needs the left wrist for his backhand, said he'll be ready to make his title defense at Flushing Meadows.

"I'm doing everything in my power with the medical team to make sure that I'm as close to 100 percent as possible during the course of this tournament, at least for the beginning of it," Djokovic said Friday. "After undergoing certain treatments, I've gotten better. I'm just hoping that Monday when the tournament starts I'll be able to, as I said, get as close to the maximum of executing my backhand shot as possible."

?The 12-time major champ also said his issues at Wimbledon, where he was upset in the third round, weren't physical, but "there were other things I was going through."

He declined to elaborate on those problems other than to say they had been resolved.

"Other than that loss in the Olympic Games and Wimbledon, I've had a phenomenal season -- definitely rank this season one of the best that I've had in career," Djokovic said. "So I don't feel like it has shaken me too much. I just hope to be healthy and to be enabled to play the way I wish to play in US Open. That's why I'm here."

Friday's draw set Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as potential semifinal opponents, while Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are in the other half of the bracket.

Nadal, who has missed more than two months since withdrawing from the French Open with a left wrist injury, said he still isn't 100 percent but "I can start to hit my normal forehand."

When Nadal first came back from the injury, he had to adjust his technique to avoid pain. Now he says he needs to get comfortable again with his regular stroke.

Olympic silver medalist Juan Martin del Potro could face 19th-seeded American Steve Johnson in the second round. Ranked No. 142 because of three left wrist surgeries, the 2009 US Open champ got in with a wild card.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.