Federer, Serena get top Aussie seeds
Top-ranked Roger Federer and Serena Williams lead the lists of seeded players for the Australian Open, with Yanina Wickmayer the only highly ranked player missing out.
The men's seeds follow the ATP rankings from Nos. 1-32; the women's list follows the WTA rankings from Nos. 1-15, skips Wickmayer, then moves every player from Nos. 17-33 up a spot.
Wickmayer is ranked 16th but playing in the qualifying tournament. She won the Auckland tournament last week in her first event since a one-year ban for doping violations was overturned.
An International Tennis Federation spokesman said Thursday that Wickmayer was ineligible to play the Australian Open when entries closed. After a Belgian court overturned the ban last month, she had to enter the qualifying tournament.
Because the qualifying tournament will not finish until the weekend -- after Friday's draw -- tournament officials could not be sure that Wickmayer would qualify for the 128-player main draw.
Serena Williams has won the Australian title each odd-numbered year since 2003, beating No. 2 Dinara Safina in straight sets in last year's final.
Safina is seeded second this year, followed by French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, Olympic champion Elena Dementieva and Venus Williams.
Organizers resisted giving former No. 1-ranked Justine Henin a seeding for her first Grand Slam event back from retirement.
The 27-year-old Henin, who won seven singles majors before quitting in May 2008 while holding the No. 1 ranking, made her tour comeback last week at the Brisbane International, where she lost in the final to fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters.
Clijsters, who won the U.S. Open in September in only her third tournament back from more than two years in retirement, was seeded 15th for the Australian Open.
No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who beat Federer in the final here last year, is seeded second, followed by 2008 Australian champion Novak Djokovic, U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro and No. 5 Andy Murray.
Del Potro withdrew from the Kooyong tournament Thursday with a wrist injury. The Australian Open begins Monday.
Federer won the Australian Open in 2004, 2006 and 2007, losing to the eventual champion in '05, '08 and last year.
After losing to Nadal last year, Federer recovered to win the French Open and Wimbledon, increasing his career tally to 15 Grand Slam singles titles, beating Pete Sampras' record of 14.
He completed a career Grand Slam of winning all four majors by capturing the French Open for the first time. He lost the U.S. Open final to del Potro, ending a streak of five straight titles at New York.