MELBOURNE, Australia -- Top-ranked tennis players Roger
Federer and Lindsay Davenport were given the No. 1 seedings for the
Australian Open on Thursday.
Federer, winner of three Grand Slam titles in 2004, will defend
his Australian Open championship beginning Monday against a men's
draw that includes all of the top 20-ranked players.
The men's seedings kept to form, with second-ranked Andy Roddick
seeded No. 2, Lleyton Hewitt seeded third, Marat Safin fourth and
Carlos Moya fifth.
But eighth-seeded Andre Agassi, a four-time champion, injured
his hip and retired from an exhibition tournament about the same
time the list of seeds was being announced.
Agassi was to have an MRI on his right hip to determine the
extent of the injury. He was expected to put off a decision about
playing in the Australian Open until the weekend.
Davenport was seeded No. 1 in a women's draw depleted by
injuries -- and even her status for the tournament was uncertain.
After the seeds were announced, Davenport pulled out of her
quarterfinal match at the Sydney International with bronchitis.
Last year's champion Justin Henin-Hardenne withdrew this weekend
because of a knee problem and Belgian compatriot and 2004 runner-up
Kim Clijsters is out with a lingering wrist injury.
Jennifer Capriati, who won consecutive titles in 2001-02 pulled
out Wednesday, citing a right shoulder problem that has sidelined
her since November.
Amelie Mauresmo of France was seeded second, followed by
Russians Anastasia Myskina, Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova
and Elena Dementieva.
Serena and Venus Williams were seeded seventh and eighth,
sandwiched between the five Russians in the top 10. Vera Zvonareva
was seeded ninth and Australia's Alicia Molik was No. 10.
Serena Williams, the 2003 Australian Open champion, missed last
year's tournament with a knee injury but recovered to reach the
final at Wimbledon and the season-ending WTA Championships.
Myskina was the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title
when she beat countrywoman Dementieva in the French Open final.
Sharapova beat Williams in the Wimbledon final and Kuznetsova beat
Dementieva at the U.S. Open decider.