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AUSTRALIAN OPEN Seedings reflect rankings



Published: Fri, January 14, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Roger Federer and Lindsay Davenport are the No. 1 seeds.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Top-ranked Roger Federer and Lindsay Davenport were given the No. 1 seedings for the Australian Open on Thursday.

Federer, winner of three Grand Slam titles in 2004, will defend his Australian Open championship beginning Monday against a men's draw that includes all of the top 20-ranked players.

The men's seedings kept to form, with second-ranked Andy Roddick seeded No. 2, Lleyton Hewitt seeded third, Marat Safin fourth and Carlos Moya fifth.

But eighth-seeded Andre Agassi, a four-time champion, injured his hip and retired from an exhibition tournament about the same time list of seeds was being announced.

Agassi was to have an MRI on his right hip to determine the extent of the injury. He was expected to put off a decision about playing in the Australian Open until the weekend.

Weakened women's field

Davenport was seeded No. 1 in a women's draw depleted by injuries -- and even her status for the tournament was uncertain. After the seeds were announced, Davenport pulled out of her quarterfinal match at the Sydney International with bronchitis.

Last year's champion Justin Henin-Hardenne withdrew this weekend because of a knee problem and Belgian compatriot and 2004 runner-up Kim Clijsters is out with a wrist injury.

Jennifer Capriati, who won consecutive titles in 2001-02 pulled out Wednesday, citing a right shoulder problem that has sidelined her since November.

Here come the Russians

Amelie Mauresmo of France was seeded second, followed by Russians Anastasia Myskina, Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva.

Serena and Venus Williams were seeded seventh and eighth, sandwiched between the five Russians in the top 10. Vera Zvonareva was seeded ninth and Australia's Alicia Molik was No. 10.

Serena Williams, the 2003 Australian Open champion, missed last year's tournament with a knee injury but recovered to reach the final at Wimbledon and the season-ending WTA Championships.

Myskina was the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title when she beat countrywoman Dementieva in the French Open final last year. Sharapova beat Williams in the Wimbledon final and Kuznetsova beat Dementieva at the U.S. Open decider.




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