World number ones, Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep have been named the top seeds for next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne.
Djokovic, 31, leads the pack, with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer coming in behind as second and third seeds, respectively. German sensation, Alexander Zverev, who’s seeking a first Grand Slam title, is seeded fourth.
Zverev, after a fantastic close to the 2018 season in which he defeated Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in succession to lift the ATP World Tour title in London, has been tipped for Grand Slam glory Down Under. However, with Djokovic and Federer both chasing a record seventh Australian Open title, it could prove to be too much of a predatory field for the young German, seeing how he’s never got past the quarterfinals of any Slam event.
Meanwhile, with world number five, Juan Martin del Potro out injured, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson comes in as the fifth seed, with last year’s finalist, Marin Cilic, seeded sixth.
In the women’s field, Romania’s Simona Halep returns to Melbourne Park as the top seed, following an injury-layoff. The 27-year-old is on the back of a five-match losing streak, but would hope to turn the tables when the event starts on Monday. Halep finished as runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki in 2017 and will certainly aim to better that this time and clinch her second career Grand Slam title.
Wozniacki is seeded third, behind reigning Wimbledon champion, Angelique Kerber. US Open champion, Naomi Osaka is seeded fourth, while America’s Sloane Stephens sits fifth.
Serena Williams, who will be aiming for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown is seeded 16th. Williams, now aged 37, lifted her seventh Australian Open title in 2017 when she was eight weeks pregnant.