Wednesday, March 20

Federer and Serena named top seeds

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Wickmayer not considered, Henin gets wildcard for Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Roger Federer and Serena Williams have been awarded the top seedings for the Australian Open, starting on Monday.The seedings were determined by the current world rankings, with one exception, ahead of today’s official draw at Melbourne Park.

The only player ranked in the world’s top 32 in the men’s and women’s listings to miss out on a seeding was Belgium’s 2009 US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer.

Although she is currently ranked 16th, Wickmayer was not considered for the seedings because she did not enter the tournament when the deadline for registrations closed in November.

Wickmayer was suspended at the time under the sport’s strict “whereabouts” rules for failing to notify her country’s doping agency where she could be reached.

Although a Belgian court overturned her one-year ban in December, her return to the tour came too late for her to claim an automatic place in the first grand slam of the year, so she entered the qualifying tournament in the hope of securing a spot.

Australian Open organisers resisted the temptation to promote former champion Justine Henin, also of Belgium, into the seedings after she made her comeback last week.

However, the former world number one was offered a wildcard ensuring she does not have to play the qualifying event. — Reuters