Australian Open 2018: Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep named top seeds; Novak Djokovic seeded 14th

Melbourne: Six-time champion Novak Djokovic will lurk as 14th seed for next week's Australian Open in Melbourne, with Rafael Nadal seeded top, organisers said on Thursday.

Nadal heads defending champion Roger Federer at the top of the men's seedings, with Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki seeded one and two in the women's competition.

Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep are the top seeds for the Australian Open 2018.

Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep are the top seeds for the Australian Open 2018.

The seedings have gone largely according to the ATP world rankings, although Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori are out injured and women's champion Serena Williams opted not to play after giving birth in September.

Djokovic made a winning return on Wednesday after six months out with an elbow injury, declaring he felt "great" after beating World No 5 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 at the Kooyong Classic.

It was the 12-time Grand Slam winner's first competitive outing since losing a Wimbledon quarter-final to Tomas Berdych last July.

The Serbian former World No 1 had pulled out of a warm-up tournament in Abu Dhabi, raising concerns over his fitness ahead of the year's opening Grand Slam.

Federer, seeded second, will bid for his 20th Grand Slam title in the bottom half of the draw.

Former winner Stan Wawrinka, who hasn't played since Wimbledon but said he has recovered sufficiently from a knee injury, is seeded at nine.

In a women's field notably missing 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, there appear to be many chances of a new Australian Open champion this year.

Seven-time champion Williams announced last week she wouldn't defend her title, saying she was "super close" but not quite ready to compete so soon after becoming a mother.

Spain's Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is seeded three, while Serena's sister Venus has the fifth seeding.


Updated Date: Jan 11, 2018 13:24 PM

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