16 Jan 2010

Seedings announced for Australian Open

6:38 am on 16 January 2010

World tennis number ones Roger Federer and Serena Williams have been awarded the top seedings for next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.

The seedings were determined by the current world rankings, with one exception, Belgium's 2009 US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer, the current world number 16, wasn't 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.

However she's in red-hot form after winning last weekend's ASB Classic final in Auckland without dropping a set.

Organisers have decided to leave Belgian duo Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin as potential banana skins in the tournament draw, leaving Henin unseeded and Clijsters seeded 15th as the former world number ones continue their mouth-watering comebacks to the sport.

Seven-time grand slam winner Henin could now bob up anywhere in the women's singles draw at Melbourne Park - a very nasty surprise for any top-ranked players unlucky enough to face her in the first round.

Clijsters also looms as a potential round of 16 opponent for a high-ranked player with her seeding.