Australian Open 2016: Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams top seeds

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are the top seeds for the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne

There was never any doubt who would stand atop the seedings of the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne. By the time 2015 was over, it was already set in stone: So many points separate Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams from their rivals that no-one has been in danger of coming close.

However, there is invariably some room for manoeuvre further down the listings as a result of injury or particularly good runs in the opening week of the year.

On the men’s side, though, there has been little room for movement between the key groupings, where the top eight were locked in weeks ago, and the only departure from the rankings in the top 16 is due to the absence of No9 Richard Gasquet, out with a back problem. Further down the list, that has lifted Bernard Tomic into 16th place, his highest in a Grand Slam, which means he can meet no higher-ranked man until the fourth round.

Joao Sousa, who is at a career-high No33 ranking, has been rewarded with the last seeded place, courtesy of Gasquet.

There have, in contrast, been some key shifts in the women’s rankings since the start of the year.

Agnieszka Radwanska, who ended 2015 with her biggest title to date, the WTA Championships in Singapore, opened this year with the Shenzhen title, and that took her from No5 to No4: She cannot now meet a higher ranked woman before the semi-finals.

By the same token, Angelique Kerber jumped three places to No7 with her final run in Brisbane, and so avoids a higher-ranked woman before the quarters. And the biggest jump, and particularly valuable, was by former champion Victoria Azarenka, from No22 to No16, after winning in Brisbane.

One of the biggest losers is Maria Sharapova, who was forced to pull out of Brisbane with injury and so slipped to No5.

Another big loser in this rearrangement might have been Venus Williams, who failed to defend her title in Auckland—losing in the first round. That took her down to No10, but… Two top-eight women will miss the tournament, No8 Flavia Pennetta, who has retired, and No9 Lucie Safarova, who is ill. Thus Venus takes eighth place.

Also benefiting from those two absences are Madison Keys and Caroline Wozniacki, who rise from Nos 17 and 18 into the seedings.

Ana Ivanovic’s first-round loss in Auckland ensured a slip from 16 to 22, so her third round can bring a top-16 opponent, and a potentially tough match-up.
Djokovic and Williams will attend the draw ceremony on Friday, and the main draw begins on Monday 18 January

Men’s seeds

1. Novak Djokovic (SRB)
2. Andy Murray (GBR)
3. Roger Federer (SUI)
4. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

5. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
6. Tomas Berdych (CZE)
7. Kei Nishikori (JPN)
8. David Ferrer (ESP)

[No9-ranked Richard Gasquet injured]
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
10. John Isner (USA)
11. Kevin Anderson (RSA)
12. Marin Cilic (CRO)
13. Milos Raonic (CAN)
14. Gilles Simon (FRA)
15. David Goffin (BEL)
16. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

17. Benoit Paire (FRA)
18. Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
19. Dominic Thiem (AUT)
20. Fabio Fognini (ITA)
21. Viktor Troicki (SRB)
22. Ivo Karlovic (CRO)
23. Gael Monfils (FRA)
24. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
25. Jack Sock (USA)
26. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
27. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
28. Andreas Seppi (ITA)
29. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
30. Jeremy Chardy (FRA)
31. Steve Johnson (USA)
32. Joao Sousa (POR)

Women’s seeds

1. Serena Williams (USA)
2. Simona Halep (ROU)
3. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
4. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

5. Maria Sharapova (RUS)
6. Petra Kvitova (CZE)
7. Angelique Kerber (GER)
[No8-ranked Flavia Pennetta has retired]
[No9-ranked Lucie Safarova injured]
8. Venus Williams (USA)

9. Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
10. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
11. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
12. Belinda Bencic (SUI)
13. Roberta Vinci (ITA)
14. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
15. Madison Keys (USA)
16. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

17. Sara Errani (ITA)
18. Elina Svitolina (UKR)
19. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
20. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
21. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
22. Andrea Petkovic (GER)
23. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
24. Sloane Stephens (USA)
25. Samantha Stosur (AUS)
26. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
27. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK)
28. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
29. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)
30. Sabine Lisicki (GER)
31. Lesia Tsurenko (UKR)
32. Caroline Garcia (FRA)

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