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NEW YORK – A year when women's tennis has served up few dominant players, especially on the biggest stages, isn't bucking the trend at the U.S. Open.

Caroline Wozniacki's 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 defeat of reigning French Open champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round Sunday guarantees four different Grand Slam titleholders when the tournament concludes.

It also left a decimated women's field.

Only two of the top eight seeds remain – No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard. Both are in the top half of the draw and play fourth-round matches Monday.

"It's a long season," said 2006 U.S. Open champion Sharapova. "There are a lot of tournaments. There's a lot of depth on the tour. You can never underestimate any opponent that's in front of you. I think that's shown in the last few Grand Slams."

Australian Open champion Li Na of China never made it to New York and Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic fell in the third round Saturday to Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic. Despite struggling at majors, Williams is the overwhelming favorite.

Indeed, the 17-time major winner is one of only two players left with Grand Slam hardware. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is the other.

Still, the 32-year-old American is taking her favorite status with a grain of salt and a large serving of caution.

On Saturday, Williams called herself a "casualty" this year after losing in the fourth-round at the Australian Open, the second round at Roland Garros and the third round at Wimbledon.

"I can't believe I'm in the second week," she said following her defeat of occasional practice partner and fellow American Varvara Lepchenko. "It's like a dream come true for me at this point."

A dream come true?

"I'm being sarcastic," she said with a pointed smile.

To win a sixth U.S. Open and third in a row, Williams must first get past round-of-16 opponent Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. Kanepi, ranked 50th, is a big hitter but sometimes plagued by inconsistency.

The season's most consistent Grand Slam performer, Canada's Bouchard, takes on No. 17 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. The Wimbledon finalist also reached the last four in Melbourne and Paris.

Injury-riddled Azarenka has done little since March to suggest she has the match-play or health to go the distance, but the 2012-13 U.S. Open finalist showed signs of life with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 third-round defeat of Elena Vesnina of Russia. The No. 16 seed from Belarus faces off against 145th-ranked Krunic on Monday.

Others with past success and winning pedigrees include Italy's Flavia Pennetta, a 2013 U.S. Open semifinalist, and 2008 finalist and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

No. 11 seed Pennetta plays Australia's Casey Dellacqua in the fourth round Monday, while ninth-seeded Jankovic had yet to take the court for her scheduled fourth-round match against 17-year-old Belinda Bencic on Sunday evening.

While it would be no surprise to see Williams in the quarterfinals for a 12th time or in the winner's circle in seven days, she isn't resting on laurels.

Her mindset: "Just treat every round as if it's your last," she said.

Which it could be for any of the remaining players in a tournament where many big names have not fared well.

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