Melbourne, Jan 14 (IANS) Defending champions and world No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams top the Australian Open seedings lists, which follow rankings ahead of the first Grand Slam tournament of 2016. Four-time finalist Andy Murray was seeded No. 2, 17-time major winner Roger Federer was No. 3 and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka was No. 4, one higher than Rafael Nadal, according to Xinhua news agency. 

On the women’s side, Simona Halep was No. 2, Garbine Muguruza was No. 3, Agnieszka Radwanska was No. 4 and Maria Sharapova, the 2008 champion and finalist last year, was No. 5. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka moved back into the top 16 with her victory at the Brisbane International last week, her first title since 2013. She finished last season at No. 22 but moved up the rankings with her title run in the Australian Open warmup tournament and was seeded No. 14 at Melbourne Park, meaning she avoids early-round encounters with the top-ranked players. 

A win over 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori and a run to the semifinals at the Brisbane International lifted Australia’s Bernard Tomic to a No. 16 seeding in the men’s draw. 

The Australian Open draw will take place on Friday. Following are the seeding lists. 

Men’s: 

1. Novak Djokovic, Serbia 2. Andy Murray, Britain 3. Roger Federer, Switzerland 4. Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland 5. Rafael Nadal, Spain 6. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic 7. Kei Nishikori, Japan 8. David Ferrer, Spain 9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France 10. John Isner, United States 11. Kevin Anderson, South Africa 12. Marin Cilic, Croatia 13. Milos Raonic, Canada 14. Gilles Simon, France 15. David Goffin, Belgium 16. Bernard Tomic, Australia 17. Benoit Paire, France 18. Feliciano Lopez, Spain 19. Dominic Thiem, Austria 20. Fabio Fognini, Italy 21. Viktor Troicki, Serbia 22. Ivo Karlovic, Croatia 23. Gael Monfils, France 24. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain 25. Jack Sock, United States 26. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain 27. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria 28. Andreas Seppi, Italy 29. Nick Kyrgios, Australia 30. Jeremy Chardy, France 31. Steve Johnson, United States 32. Joao Sousa, Portugal 

Women’s: 

1. Serena Williams, United States 2. Simona Halep, Romania 3. Garbine Muguruza, Spain 4. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland 5. Maria Sharapova, Russia 6. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic 7. Angelique Kerber, Germany 8. Venus Williams, United States 9. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic 10. Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain 11. Timea Bacsinszky, Switzerland 12. Belinda Bencic, Switzerland 13. Roberta Vinci, Italy 14. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus 15. Madison Keys, United States 16. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark 17. Sara Errani, Italy 18. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine 19. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia 20. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia 21. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia 22. Andrea Petkovic, Germany 23. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia 24. Sloane Stephens, United States 25. Samantha Stosur, Australia 26. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia 27. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Slovakia 28. Kristina Mladenovic, France 29. Irina-Camelia Begu, Romania 30. Sabine Lisicki, Germany 31. Lesia Tsurenko, Ukraine 32. Caroline Garcia, France

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