Djokovic gets top billing

Djokovic gets top billing

Under-fire Dane Wozniacki returns to Melbourne as top seed

The seedings for this month's Australian Open have been released, with Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki receiving top billing.

Djokovic, after his superb 2011 season that saw him become world No 1, tops the men's side of the draw from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, with Britain's Andy Murray the fourth seed.

Spain's David Ferrer is seeded fifth, ahead of Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Czech Tomas Berdych, the American Mardy Fish and the Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, with the Spanish clay-court specialist Nicolás Almagro completing the top 10.

Wozniacki, who heads to Melbourne still searching for an elusive grand slam title and in danger of relinquishing her No 1 ranking to Czech Petra Kvitova, is the top women's seed, with Kvitova second, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus third and Maria Sharapova fourth.

Last year's Australian Open runner-up, China's Li Na, is seeded fifth, with US Open champion and local hope Samantha Stosur sixth. With the seeding of players in the year's first Grand slam tournament based solely on their places in the ATP and WTA rankings, there were no surprises in the list revealed on Monday, but the placing of defending champion Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams could see fireworks earlier than anticipated.

Clijsters, who is still battling back to full fitness after an injury-ravaged 2011, is seeded 12th, with Williams, the champion at Melbourne Park in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010, the 13th seed, meaning they could face a top-10 player as early as the last 16.

Seedings: Men: Novak Djokovic (Ser) 1; Rafael Nadal (Esp) 2; Roger Federer (Sui) 3; Andy Murray (Bri) 4; David Ferrer (Esp) 5; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) 6; Tomas Berdych (Cze) 7; Mardy Fish (USA) 8; Janko Tipsarevic (Ser) 9; Nicolas Almagro (Esp) 10; Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) 11; Gilles Simon (Fra) 12; Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukr) 13; Gael Monfils (Fra) 14; Andy Roddick (USA) 15; John Isner (USA) 16; Richard Gasquet (Fra) 17; Feliciano Lopez (Esp) 18; Viktor Troicki (Ser) 19; Florian Mayer (Ger) 20; Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) 21; Fernando Verdasco (Esp) 22; Milos Raonic (Can) 23; Kei Nishikori (Jap) 24; Juan Monaco (Arg) 25; Marcel Granollers (Esp) 26; Juan Ignacio Chela (Arg) 27; Ivan Ljubicic (Cro) 28; Radek Stepanek (Cze) 29; Kevin Anderson (SA) 30; Jurgen Melzer (Aut) 31; Alex Bogomolov Jr (USA) 32.
Women: Caroline Wozniacki (Den) 1; Petra Kvitova (Cze) 2; Victoria Azarenka (Bel) 3; Maria Sharapova (Rus) 4; Li Na (Chn) 5; Samantha Stosur (Aus) 6; Vera Zvonareva (Rus) 7; Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 8; Marion Bartoli (Fra) 9; Andrea Petkovic (Ger) 10; Francesca Schiavone (Ita) 11; Kim Clijsters (Bel) 12; Serena Williams (USA) 13; Jelena Jankovic (Ser) 14; Sabine Lisicki (Ger) 15; Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) 16; Peng Shuai (Chn) 17; Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) 18; Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) 19; Flavia Pennetta (Ita) 20; Daniela Hantuchova (Svk) 21; Ana Ivanovic (Ser) 22; Julia Goerges (Ger) 23; Roberta Vinci (Ita) 24; Lucie Safarova (Cze) 25; Kaia Kanepi (Est) 26; Anabel Medina Garrigues (Esp) 27; Maria Kirilenko (Rus) 28; Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) 29; Nadia Petrova (Rus) 30; Angelique Kerber (Ger) 31; Monica Niculescu (Rom) 32.