Federer, Davenport, receive top seeds at Australian Open

Friday, January 13, 2006

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Andy Roddick was seeded second at the Australian Open on Thursday, avoiding heavy favorite Roger Federer unless both make the final.

With No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal sidelined because of a foot injury, most interest focused on which man would be seeded second and assured of playing on the opposite side of the draw from Federer. Roddick is ranked No. 3 and moved up a spot in the seeding.

Organizers for the season's first Grand Slam tournament listed the seeded men and women in the same order as their rankings.

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, who lost in the final season, was seeded third, followed by Masters Cup winner David Nalbandian and Nikolay Davydenko.

Defending champion Marat Safin withdrew because of a left knee problem and four-time winner Andre Agassi is out with an ankle problem.

All of the women's top 10 are expected in Melbourne, with top-ranked Lindsay Davenport seeded No. 1, U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters at No. 2, WTA Championship winner Amelie Mauresmo at No. 3, Maria Sharapova at No. 4 and Mary Pierce, the 1995 Australian Open winner, at No. 5.

French Open champion Justin Henin-Hardenne, who won the 2004 Australian Open, was seeded eighth. Venus was seeded No. 10 and younger sister and defending champion Serena Williams was No. 13.

Clijsters and Petrova withdrew from the Sydney International on Wednesday because of injuries, but Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee said both were expected to play in Melbourne.

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