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Australian Open 2017: Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber debut as top seeds

2016 brought a transformation to the rankings. The two who stood at the top of the pile at last year’s Australian Open, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, would lose their No1 positions by the end of the season after well over two years of dominance apiece.

In their place, and both seeded No1 at a Grand Slam for the first time, are Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, who will top the Australian Open lists of 32 when the first Major of the year begins

Yet this is not the only transformation in Melbourne’s Seeds this year compared with last.

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For the first time since Roger Federer was seeded No11 in 2002, the four-time Australian champion is outside the top 16, and that leaves him exposed to a top-16 player in Round 3 and a top-eight man in Round 4. With Rafael Nadal also pushed from the top eight by extended injury breaks last season, that means tennis’s most prolific Grand Slam champions could face one another in the third round and then meet Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray in the fourth.

Both Djokovic and Williams are going for a seventh Australian title this year, both seeded No2, and with the strong possibility of playing the title match against the same adversary as last year: Murray and Kerber.

There are new names aplenty among the seeds, and exciting ones at that. On the men’s side, teenage star Alexander Zverev is at No24, while 22-year-old Lucas Pouille has made the cut for the top 16. Last year’s No23 Gael Monfils is up to No6 and Dominic Thiem—19 a year back—is also seeded to make the quarters at No8. And another big riser since last year is many people’s pick for his first Major this year, Milos Raonic: last year’s No13 is this year’s No3.But some familiar names have slipped from the 32: Kevin Anderson and Fabio Fognini among them.

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On the women’s side, Briton Johanna Konta made her Major breakthrough run in Melbourne to the semis last year, ranked 47, but is now seeded No9. Dominika Cibulkova made a stunning return from injury and a Melbourne ranking of 38 last year to be seeded No6. There are, though, notable absences not just from seeds but the tournament: Petra Kvitova, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova—each for very different reasons.

There remain, of course, uncertainties right up to the start of the Open on Monday. With several tournaments already played this season, injuries have raised their ugly heads—though for most, this may be seen as erring on the side of caution before one of the most important tournaments in the tennis calendar.

So give or take assorted back, thigh and abdominal issues, who makes the seeding line-up?

Men’s seeds (*unseeded last year)

1 Andy Murray
2 Novak Djokovic 

3 Milos Raonic 

4 Stan Wawrinka

5 Kei Nishikori

6 Gael Monfils
7 Marin Cilic
8 Dominic Thiem

9 Rafael Nadal
10 Tomas Berdych 
11 David Goffin 
12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
13 Roberto Bautista Agut
14 Nick Kyrgios
15 Grigor Dimitrov
16 Lucas Pouille*

17 Roger Federer
18 Richard Gasquet
19 John Isner
20 Ivo Karlovic
21 David Ferrer
22 Pablo Cuevas*
23 Jack Sock
24 Alexander Zverev*
25 Gilles Simon
26 Albert Ramos Vinolas*
27 Bernard Tomic 
28 Feliciano Lopez
29 Viktor Troicki
30 Pablo Carreno Busta*
31 Sam Querrey*
32 Philipp Kohlschreiber*

Seeded last year
Kevin Anderson, Benoit Paire, Fabio Fognini, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Andreas Seppi, Jeremy Chardy, Steve Johnson, Joao Sousa

Women’s seeds (*unseeded last year)

1 Angelique Kerber
2 Serena Williams 

3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Simona Halep

5 Karolina Pliskova
6 Dominika Cibulkova*

7 Garbine Muguruza 

8 Svetlana Kuznetsova

9 Johanna Konta*
10 Carla Suarez Navarro
11 Elina Svitolina
12 Timea Bacsinszky
13 Venus Williams
14 Elena Vesnina*
15 Roberta Vinci
16 Barbora Strycova*

17 Caroline Wozniacki
18 Samantha Stosur
19 Kiki Bertens*
20 Zhang Shuai*
21 Caroline Garcia
22 Daria Gavrilova*
23 Daria Kasatkina*
24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
25 Timea Babos*
26 Laura Siegemund*
27 Irina-Camelia Begu
28 Alize Cornet*
29 Monica Puig*
30 Ekaterina Makarova
31 Yulia Putintseva*
32 Anastasija Sevastova*

Absent seeds
Madison Keys (ranked 8)
Petra Kvitova (ranked 11)
Victoria Azarenka (ranked 14)

Seeded last year

Kvitova, Keys, Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Belinda Bencic, Sara Errani, Jelena Jankovic, Sabine Lisicki, Andrea Petkovic, Lesia Tsurenko, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Kristina Mladenovic, Sloane Stephens

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Australian Open 2017: Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber debut as top seeds


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