MELBOURNE: Defending champion and Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal is the top men’s seed in the Australian Open, in absence of injured world number one Carlos Alcaraz.
Also, Novak Djokovic is seeded at number four ahead of Thursday’s draw for Australian Open.
Alcaraz had earlier announced that he will withdraw from the Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam year due to a hamstring injury. Nadal is at number two in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings.
Alcaraz announced that he was pulling out of the competition on Twitter.
“When I was at my best in the pre-season, I picked up an injury through a chance, unnatural movement in training.
This time it’s the semimembranosus muscle in my right leg,” Alcaraz was quoted as saying in a tweet by ESPN.
“I’d worked so hard to get to my best level for Australia but unfortunately I won’t be able to play the Care A2+ Kooyong or the Australian Open. It’s tough, but I have to be optimistic, recover and look forward. See you in 2024,” added Alcaraz in another tweet.
Last year, Alcaraz clinched the US Open title back in September to make it to the top of The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Rankings, making the 19-year-old youngest to finish the season at the top since the starting of computerised ranking in men’s tennis half a century back. His climb from number 32 at 2021-end to the top spot also marked the largest single-season jump to the top spot.
On the other hand, the world number one in the women’s category, Iga Swiatek of Poland is the women’s top seed. She aims to win her first-ever Australian Open title, with her best finish in the tournament being in the semifinals.
She is also the reigning French Open and US Open title holder. The Australian Open will take place from January 16 to January 29.
Seeded singles players for the Australian Open:
Men: 1. Rafael Nadal, 2. Casper Ruud, 3. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 4. Novak Djokovic, 5. Andrey Rublev, 6. Felix Auger-Aliassime, 7. Daniil Medvedev, 8. Taylor Fritz, 9. Holger Rune, 10. Hubert Hurkacz, 11. Cameron Norrie, 12. Alexander Zverev, 13. Matteo Berrettini, 14. Pablo Carreno Busta, 15. Jannik Sinner, 16. Frances Tiafoe, 17. Marin Cilic, 18. Lorenzo Musetti, 19. Karen Khachanov, 20. Nick Kyrgios, 21. Denis Shapovalov, 22. Borna Coric, 23. Alex De Minaur, 24. Diego Schwartzman, 25. Roberto Bautista Agut, 26. Daniel Evans, 27. Miomir Kecmanovic, 28. Grigor Dimitrov, 29. Francisco Cerundolo, 30. Sebastian Korda, 31. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 32. Yoshihito Nishioka.
Women: 1. Iga Swiatek, 2. Ons Jabeur, 3. Jessica Pegula, 4. Caroline Garcia, 5. Aryna Sabalenka, 6. Maria Sakkari, 7. Coco Gauff, 8. Daria Kasatkina, 9. Veronika Kudermetova, 10. Madison Keys, 11. Paula Badosa, 12. Belinda Bencic, 13. Danielle Collins, 14. Beatriz Haddad Maia, 15. Petra Kvitova, 16. Anett Kontaveit, 17. Jelena Ostapenko, 18. Liudmila Samsonova, 19. Ekaterina Alexandrova, 20. Barbora Krejcikova, 21. Martina Trevisan, 22. Elena Rybakina, 23. Shuai Zhang, 24. Victoria Azarenka, 25. Marie Bouzkova, 26. Elise Mertens, 27. Irina-Camelia Begu, 28. Amanda Anisimova, 29. Qinwen Zheng, 30. Karolina Pliskova, 31. Kaia Kanepi, 32. Jil Teichmann. (ANI)