Mur­ray, Ker­ber top seeds

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

MELBOURNE. - World num­ber ones Andy Mur­ray and An­gelique Ker­ber were yes­ter­day named the top seeds for next week’s Aus­tralian Open with or­gan­is­ers align­ing with the cur­rent ten­nis 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.

Men’s sin­gles 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).

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