US Open 2018 seeds: Nadal and Halep No1s; Serena Williams up to No17; Murray, Wawrinka, Azarenka unseeded dangers

Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep have been named as the top seeds at the US Open 2018

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal Photo: Marianne Bevis

Apart from Serena Williams, who missed the US Open last year as she prepared to give birth to her first child, the top 32 men and women at this year’s US Open follow the latest ATP and WTA rankings.

For the men…

…that means three-time and defending champion Rafael Nadal tops the men’s tournament, with five-time former champion Roger Federer at No2. The third reigning Major champion, Novak Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in July and is twice winner in New York, boosted himself into the top eight at No6 with his title run in Cincinnati last weekend.

Fellow former US Open champions, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic—in 2009 and 2014 respectively—also make the top eight, at No3 and No7, so none of these five can face each other before the quarter-finals.

Missing out on a valuable top-eight placing is Dominic Thiem, who slipped to No9 this week, but notable for rising into the same middle section is Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is seeded at a Major for the first time, No15. Along with Kyle Edmund, the only British seed in the tournament, none of these three can meet a higher seed before the fourth round.

And for the women…

…the top four seedings are held by reigning Major champions. World No1 and French Open champion Simona Halep tops the ranks, with Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki at No2. Defending champion Sloane Stephens is at No3, with Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber at No4.

Six-time former champion Serena Williams, who has not fallen short of the semi-finals in New York for a decade, is ranked 26 following her steady return to competition after missing four straight Majors due to pregnancy, maternity leave, plus additional health problems. Not that the bump of nine places makes a big difference to her prospects against fellow seeds: Either way, she is scheduled to meet a top 16 player as early as the third round.

In contrast, elder sister Venus, a two-time former champion, and seeded one place higher at No16, cannot meet a higher ranked player before the fourth round.

There were last-minute rises for Kiki Bertens following her victory in Cincinnati, to take her into that useful top 16 at No13, just one place below Garbine Muguruza, who was seeded at No3 at Wimbledon last month.

Aryna Sabalenka, a semi-finalist in Cincinnati, is seeded for the first time at a Major, at No25, as is Maria Sakkari, who nabs the last spot, No32.

Men’s seeds (*former champions)

1. Rafael Nadal*
2. Roger Federer*
3. Juan Martin del Potro*
4. Alexander Zverev

5. Kevin Anderson
6. Novak Djokovic*
7. Marin Cilic*
8. Grigor Dimitrov

9. Dominic Thiem
10. David Goffin
11. John Isner
12. Pablo Carreno Busta
13. Diego Schwartzman
14. Fabio Fognini
15. Stefanos Tsitsipas
16. Kyle Edmund

17. Lucas Pouille
18. Jack Sock
19. Roberto Bautista Agut
20. Borna Coric
21. Kei Nishikori
22. Marco Cecchinato
23. Hyeon Chung
24. Damir Dzumhur
25. Milos Raonic
26. Richard Gasquet
27. Karen Khachanov
28. Denis Shapovalov
29. Adrian Mannarino
30. Nick Kyrgios
31. Fernando Verdasco
32. Filip Krajinovic

Dangerous unseeded players, who could be drawn against any of these men in the first round, include:

No101, Stan Wawrinka, champion in 2016, playing with a wild card

No378, Andy Murray, champion in 2012, playing with protected ranking

Women’s seeds (*former champions)

1. Simona Halep
2. Caroline Wozniacki
3. Sloane Stephens*
4. Angelique Kerber*

5. Petra Kvitova
6. Caroline Garcia
7. Elina Svitolina
8. Karolina Pliskova

9. Julia Goerges
10. Jelena Ostapenko
11. Daria Kasatkina
12. Garbiñe Muguruza
13. Kiki Bertens
14. Madison Keys
15. Elise Mertens
16. Venus Williams*

17. Serena Williams*
18. Ashleigh Barty
19. Anastasija Sevastova
20. Naomi Osaka
21. Mihaela Buzarnescu
22. Maria Sharapova*
23. Barbora Strycova
24. CoCo Vandeweghe
25. Daria Gavrilova
26. Aryna Sabalenka
27. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
28. Anett Kontaveit
29. Dominika Cibulkova
30. Carla Suarez Navarro
31. Magdalena Rybarikova
32. Maria Sakkari

Dangerous unseeded players, who could be drawn against any of these women in the first round, include:

No80 Victoria Azarenka, two-time former finalist, who is playing after two years’ absence with a wild card

No39 Agnieszka Radwanska, unseeded at a Major for the first time in over 11 years after recurrent injury problems

No101 Svetlana Kuznetsova, champion in 2004, and playing with a wild card

No46 Johanna Konta, the only British woman with direct entry, but seeded No7 last year before a slump in form

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