Britain’s Andy Murray / AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR
World number ones Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were named the top seeds on Thursday for next week’s Australian Open with organisers aligning with the current rankings.
Scotland’s Murray is chasing his first title at Melbourne Park after losing in the final five times, including in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 to Serb rival Novak Djokovic, who is seeded two.
Kerber will be defending her first Grand Slam having upset Serena Williams, seeded two this year, in the decider last year.
Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who lost to Murray in the 2016 semi-finals, is the third men’s seed with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka fourth and Japanese hope Kei Nishikori fifth.
Swiss legend Roger Federer starts at 17 as he makes a comeback after six months out with a knee injury. His old foe Rafael Nadal, also returning from injury, is ninth.
Serena Williams, gunning for a 23rd Grand Slam title to beat Steffi Graf’s Open-era record, is scheduled to again meet Kerber in the women’s final.
But there are a host of dangerous players looking to stop her, with Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska seeded three and Romania’s Simona Halep four. US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova rounds out the top five.
1. Andy Murray (GBR), 2. Novak Djokovic (SRB), 3. Milos Raonic (CAN), 4. Stan Wawrinka (SUI), 5. Kei Nishikori (JPN), 6. Gael Monfils (FRA), 7. Marin Cilic (CRO), 8. Dominic Thiem (AUT), 9. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 10. Tomas Berdych (CZE), 11. David Goffin (BEL), 12. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), 13. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP), 14. Nick Kyrgios (AUS), 15. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL), 16. Lucas Pouille (FRA), 17. Roger Federer (SUI), 18. Richard Gasquet (FRA), 19. John Isner (USA), 20. Ivo Karlovic (CRO), 21. David Ferrer (ESP), 22. Pablo Cuevas (URU), 23. Jack Sock (USA), 24. Alexander Zverev (GER), 25. Gilles Simon (FRA), 26. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP), 27. Bernard Tomic (AUS), 28. Feliciano Lopez (ESP), 29. Viktor Troicki (SRB), 30. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP), 31. Sam Querrey (USA), 32. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
1. Angelique Kerber (GER), 2. Serena Williams (USA), 3. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 4. Simona Halep (ROM), 5. Karolina Pliskova (CZE), 6. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK), 7. Garbine Muguruza (ESP), 8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS), 9. Johanna Konta (GBR), 10. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP), 11. Elina Svitolina (UKR), 12. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI), 13. Venus Williams (USA), 14. Elena Vesnina (RUS), 15. Roberta Vinci (ITA), 16. Barbora Strycova (CZE), 17. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), 18. Samantha Stosur (AUS), 19. Kiki Bertens (NED), 20. Zhang Shuai (CHN), 21 Caroline Garcia (FRA), 22. Daria Gavrilova (AUS), 23. Daria Kasatkina (RUS), 24. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS), 25. Timea Babos (HUN), 26. Laura Siegemund (GER), 27. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM), 28. Alize Cornet (FRA), 29. Monica Puig (PUR), 30. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS), 31. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ), 32. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT)
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