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Djokovic and Wozniacki top seeds at the Australian Open 2012

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novak_djokovic1World No.1s Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki are the top seeds at the 100th Australian Open Championships starting at Melbourne next week. The defending champion and 2008 winner will start as the No.1 seed for the first time at the Rod Laver Arena. The Serb started his Australian Open preparation on a strong note by winning the exhibition event at Abu Dhabi early last week. The two-time champion is followed by perennial favourites Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal, winner of the 2009 Championships has been seeded No.2. Nadal made a surprise exit at the Doha Championships in the semifinals against Gael Monfils last week. Roger Federer, the winner of the most number of Australian open Championships in the Open Era (tied for four times along with Andre Agassi) is seeded No.3. Roger pulled out of his Doha semifinal against Jo Wilfred Tsonga as a precautionary measure to address his nagging back spasms and is expected to be fully fit for the Australian Open 2012. His fans will be hopeful he will be able to last the complete two weeks.

Andy Murray of Britain, seeded No.4 will look to end his drought at the Grand Slams as he starts his Aus Open campaign. He was the runner-up in both 2010 as well as 2011 and will hope to take it one step further this year. Murray enters the championship armed with new coach Ivan Lendl, and having won the Brisbane title last week. Recently crowned Chennai Open Champion Milos Raonic has climbed six places and is now seeded No.23 at the Open. Milos received rave reviews for his performance at the championships in 2011 when he started off as a qualifier and went on to reach the fourth round before losing out to the Spaniard David Ferrer in four sets. The Qatar Open champion, Jo Wilfried Tsonga is seeded No.6. Fans in Australia will remember his run to the final in 2008, and will back him to push on and challenge the big 4 for a semi-final berth.

Another player plagued by the Grand Slam drought is the women's no.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniacki has never progressed beyond the second round at the Rod Laver Arena and much has been said about the 21 year old from Denmark's inability to win a Grand Slam despite holding the No.1 ranking for the more than 63 weeks. Close on her heels is the world no. 2 and Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitová of Czech Republic. Petra playing the Hopman Cup exhibition event with Tomas Berdych went on to win the title, defeating France in the final. She won all of her singles matches at the event, including a win over Wozniacki. It would take a brave man to bet against her winning her first Aussie Open title.

Australia's first female grand slam champion Sam Stosur is seeded No.6 just below Li Na of China, the 2011 runner-up. Samantha won the last major of 2011 at the US Open Championships and will start as the local favourite. Defending Champion, Kim Clijsters is seeded no. 12. The Belgian strained a muscle in the hip at the Bribane Championships in the match against Daniela Hantuchova last week but is confident of defending her title at the Aus Open. Injured Serena Williams is seeded No.13 and is still considered a serious contender for the title. Williams holds the record for the maximum Australian Open titles in the Open Era – winning it five times with the latest one in 2010.

All of the top 32 players in the women's ATP rankings are seeded in the tournament while the Men's draw this year will not feature Robin Soderling of Sweden and Marin Cilic of Croatia.

Men's Draw: 1.Djokovic, Novak (SRB), 2.Nadal, Rafael (ESP), 3.Federer, Roger (SUI), 4.Murray, Andy (GBR), 5. Ferrer, David (ESP), 6.Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA), 7.Berdych, Tomas (CZE), 8.Fish, Mardy (USA), 9. Tipsarevic, Janko (SRB), 10. Almagro, Nicolas (ESP), 11.Del Potro, Juan Martin(ARG), 12. Simon, Gilles (FRA), 13. Dolgopolov, Alexandr (UKR), 14. Monfils, Gael (FRA), 15. Roddick, Andy (USA), 16. Isner, John (USA), 17. Gasquet, Richard (FRA), 18. Lopez, Feliciano (ESP), 19.Troicki, Viktor (SRB), 20. Mayer, Florian (GER), 21. Wawrinka, Stanislas (SUI), 22. Verdasco, Fernando (ESP), 23. Raonic, Milos (CAN), 24. Nishikori, Kei (JPN), 25. Monaco, Juan (ARG), 26. Granollers, Marcel (ESP), 27. Chela, Juan Ignacio (ARG), 28.Ljubicic, Ivan (CRO), 29.Stepanek, Radek (CZE), 30. Anderson, Kevin (RSA), 31. Melzer, Jurgen (AUT), 32. Bogomolov Jr., Alex (RUS)

Women's Draw: 1. Wozniacki, Caroline (DEN), 2.Kvitova, Petra (CZE), 3.Azarenka, Victoria (BLR), 4.Sharapova, Maria (RUS), 5. Li, Na (CHN), 6. Stosur, Samantha (AUS), 7.Zvonareva, Vera (RUS), 8.Radwanska, Agnieszka (POL), 9.Bartoli, Marion (FRA), 10. Petkovic, Andrea (GER), 11.Schiavone, Francesca (ITA), 12. Clijsters, Kim (BEL), 13. Williams, Serena (USA), 14. Jankovic, Jelena (SRB), 15.Lisicki, Sabine (GER), 16. Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia (RUS), 17. Peng, Shuai (CHN), 18. Cibulkova, Dominika (SVK), 19.Kuznetsova, Svetlana (RUS), 20. Pennetta, Flavia (ITA), 21. Hantuchova, Daniela (SVK), 22. Ivanovic, Ana (SRB), 23.Goerges, Julia (GER), 24.Vinci, Roberta (ITA), 25.Safarova, Lucie (CZE), 26. Kanepi, Kaia (EST), 27. Medina Garrigues, Anabel (ESP), 28.Kirilenko, Maria (RUS), 29.Wickmayer, Yanina (BEL), 30.Petrova, Nadezda (RUS), 31.Kerber, Angelique (GER), 32.Niculescu, Monica (ROU)

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