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Tennis: Djokovic, Barty Earn Top Seeds For Australian Open

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Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic and Australian female star Ashleigh Barty are the top seeds for the upcoming Australian Open tournament which begins next Monday in Melbourne.

Djokovic is a nine-time event winner, whose presence is creating controversy in Australia due to his visa situation. The 34-year-old Serbian is unvaccinated and initially had his visa revoked upon arriving in the country.

He has since won an appeal to remain in the country but there is still a chance he could have the visa canceled before the tournament starts. Djokovic has won 20 career Grand Slam titles, which is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most all-time among the men.

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in September’s US Open, is the No. 2 seed. Germany’s Alexander Zverev is No. 3, followed by Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Russia’s Andrey Rublev. Nadal of Spain is the sixth seed. Roger Federer is sidelined due to knee surgery.

Ashleigh Barty

Barty, 25, has been the WTA year-end No. 1 three straight years but has never won the Grand Slam event. The two-time Grand Slam champion’s best finish in the Australian Open was reaching the semifinals in 2020.

Barty withdrew from this week’s Sydney Tennis Classic to prepare for the Australian Open.

“Unfortunately, I am withdrawing from the Sydney Tennis Classic to have some time to recover before the Australian Open,” Barty said in a statement.

“I’m sorry I won’t get the chance to play in front of the Sydney fans this year. I hope to see you all again soon. I wish the players and the tournament team all the best for the week ahead.”

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is the No. 2 seed, while Garbine Muguruza of Spain is No. 3. Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic is No. 4 and Maria Sakkari of Greece is No. 5. Defending Australian Open champ Naomi Osaka of Japan is seeded 13th.

Serena Williams isn’t playing in the tournament as she continues her recovery from a hamstring injury. Williams has won seven Australian Open titles and her 23 total Grand Slam crowns are tied with Margaret Court for most all-time.

 

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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