Fall in rankings has Federer seeded 17th at Australian Open
MELBOURNE: A long injury layoff and a fall in the rankings have created a tougher draw for 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer at the Australian Open.
Federer slipped to No. 17 in the rankings this week after Grigor Dimitrov won the Brisbane International and moved up to No. 15.
The Australian Open tends to stick with the rankings when its seeds 32 players in each of the men's and women's 128-player singles draws, meaning the 35-year-old Federer gets less protection than usual and could potentially face a top 10 player in the third round.
The seedings were confirmed by Australian Open organizers on Thursday. The draw will be held Friday for the season-opening major, which starts Monday at Melbourne Park.
Federer has won the Australian Open four times, his first in 2004, and also reached the final in 2009, but he hasn't won the title here since 2010.
He spent six months out of action last year while recovering after surgery on his left knee and finished 2016 at No. 16, ending a year in which his record run of 65 Grand Slam appearances ended when he couldn't contest the French Open. He also missed the U.S. Open.
He returned to action at the international mixed teams exhibition at the Hopman Cup in Perth last week.
As expected, No. 1-ranked Andy Murray is the top seed ahead of six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the men's draw and Angelique Kerber, the reigning Australian and U.S. Open champion, is the top seed in the women's draw ahead of six-time campion Serena Williams, who is seeded No. 2.
Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic is No. 3 in the men's seedings, and U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych round out the top 10.
Following Kerber and Williams in the list of top 10 women's seeds are Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulkoa, Garbine Muguruza, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Johanna Konta and Carla Suarez Navarro.
List of seeded players for the Australian Open
MELBOURNE: List of seeded players in the men's and women's singles draws at the Australian Open, which begins Monday at Melbourne Park:
1. Andy Murray, Britain
2. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
3. Milos Raonic, Canada
4. Stan Wawrinka, Switerzland
5. Kei Nishikori, Japan
6. Gael Monfils, France
7. Marin Cilic, Croatia
8. Dominic Thiem, Austria
9. Rafael Nadal, Spain
10. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic
11. David Goffin, Belgium
12. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
13. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain
14. Nick Kyrgios, Australia
15. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria
16. Lucas Pouille, France
17. Roger Federer, Switzerland
18. Richard Gasquet, France
19. John Isner, United States
20. Ivo Karlovic, Croatia
21. David Ferrer, Spain
22. Pablo Cuevas, Uruguay
23. Jack Sock, United States
24. Alexander Zverev, Germany
25. Gilles Simon, France
26. Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Spain
27. Bernard Tomic, Australia
28. Feliciano Lopez, Spain
29. Viktor Troicki, Serbia
30. Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain
31. Sam Querrey, United States
32. Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany
1. Angelique Kerber, Germany
2. Serena Williams, United States
3. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland
4. Simona Halep, Romania
5. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
6. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia
7. Garbine Muguruza, Spain
8. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia
9. Johanna Konta, Britain
10. Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain
11. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
12. Timea Bacsinszky, Switzerland
13. Venus Williams, United States
14. Elena Vesnina, Russia
15. Roberta Vinci, Italy
16. Barbora Strycova, Czech Republic
17. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark
18. Sam Stosur, Australia
19. Kiki Bertens, Netherlands
20. Zhang Shuai, China
21. Caroline Garcia, France
22. Daria Gavrilova, Australia
23. Daria Kasatkina, Russia
24. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia
25. Timea Babos, Hungary
26. Laura Siegemund, Germany
27. Irina-Camelia Begu, Romania
28. Alize Cornet, France
29. Monica Puig, France
30. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia
31. Yulia Putintseva, Kazakhstan
32. Anastasija Sevastova, Latvia