Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber Headline Seedings At The Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber Headline Seedings At The Australian Open

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The seeds have been announced for next week’s Australian Open with Andy Murray bidding to lift his maiden title in Melbourne.

 

The British world No.1 has had to settle for runner-up position in the tournament five times since 2010. Murray will be the top seed in the men’s draw at the grand slam event for the first time in his career following his end to the 2016 season, where he won five consecutive ATP tournaments. His title bid faces some tough obstacles. Defending champion Novak Djokovic follows him in second place. The 14-time major champion defeated Murray in his first tournament of the year at the Qatar Open in Doha. Completing the men’s top five will be Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic, former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

Roger Federer enters Melbourne ranked outside the top 10 for the first time since 2002 after being sidelined for six months due to a knee injury. The Swiss player, who will be seeded 17th, has reached the semifinal stage of the tournament in 12 out of the past 13 years. Rafael Nadal, who has also been hampered by injury during 2016, enters as the ninth seed.

In the women’s draw, top seed Angelique Kerber will be bidding to win back-to-back Melbourne titles. The German has started the new season of shaky ground following a duo of early exits in Brisbane and Sydney. Following Kerber is Serena Williams, who will be bidding to claim her 23rd grand slam title. Williams enters Melbourne amid uncertainty over her form. At the ASB Classic in New Zealand, she produced an uncharacteristic 88 unforced errors during her loss to Madison Brengle in the second round.

Completing the elite five are Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova. All three of those players are former finalists in the majors, but they are yet to lift a title.

Full list of seeds

Men
1. Andy Murray (GBR), 2. Novak Djokovic (SRB), 3. Milos Raonic (CAN), 4. Stan Wawrinka (SUI), 5. Kei Nishikori (JPN), 6. Gael Monfils (FRA), 7. Marin Cilic (CRO), 8. Dominic Thiem (AUT), 9. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 10. Tomas Berdych (CZE), 11. David Goffin (BEL), 12. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), 13. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP), 14. Nick Kyrgios (AUS), 15. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL), 16. Lucas Pouille (FRA), 17. Roger Federer (SUI), 18. Richard Gasquet (FRA), 19. John Isner (USA), 20. Ivo Karlovic (CRO), 21. David Ferrer (ESP), 22. Pablo Cuevas (URU), 23. Jack Sock (USA), 24. Alexander Zverev (GER), 25. Gilles Simon (FRA), 26. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP), 27. Bernard Tomic (AUS), 28. Feliciano Lopez (ESP), 29. Viktor Troicki (SRB), 30. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP), 31. Sam Querrey (USA), 32. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)

Women
1. Angelique Kerber (GER), 2. Serena Williams (USA), 3. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 4. Simona Halep (ROM), 5. Karolina Pliskova (CZE), 6. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK), 7. Garbine Muguruza (ESP), 8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS), 9. Johanna Konta (GBR), 10. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP), 11. Elina Svitolina (UKR), 12. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI), 13. Venus Williams (USA), 14. Elena Vesnina (RUS), 15. Roberta Vinci (ITA), 16. Barbora Strycova (CZE), 17. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), 18. Samantha Stosur (AUS), 19. Kiki Bertens (NED), 20. Zhang Shuai (CHN), 21 Caroline Garcia (FRA), 22. Daria Gavrilova (AUS), 23. Daria Kasatkina (RUS), 24. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS), 25. Timea Babos (HUN), 26. Laura Siegemund (GER), 27. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM), 28. Alize Cornet (FRA), 29. Monica Puig (PUR), 30. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS), 31. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ), 32. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT)

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Botic Van de Zandschulp beats Joao Sousa to reach the second round in Tel Aviv

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Botic Van de Zandschulp cruised past Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 to reach the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. Van de Zandschulp won 83% of his first serve points and hit 28 winners to Sousa’s six. 

 

The Dutchman will face Liam Broady, who Serbian wild-card Hamad Medjedovic 7-5 6-3. 

Tomas Martin Etchevery edged past 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev 6-2 6-7 (0-7) 6-4  scoring the biggest win of his career. 

Arthur Rinderknech came back from one set down to beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3. Rinderknech set up a second round against third seed Diego Schwartzman. 

Emil Ruusuvuori broke serve five times in his 6-3 6-2 win over J.J Wolf. 

Sebastian Korda beat Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Maxime Cressy. Novak Djokovic is the top seed of the Tel Aviv tournament, which returns for the first time since 2021.

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Holger Rune reaches the second round at the Sofia Open

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Danish Next Gen rising star Holger Rune edged past Tim Van Rijthoven 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) to reach the second round at the Sofia Open in his first appearance at this tournament. 

 

Both players went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Rune earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

The second set started with a trade of breaks in the first two games. There was little to separate both players in the next games, which went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rune saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie-break of the second set and won the final three points to close out the second set 8-6. 

Rune won his first title in Munich and reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter final at Roland Garros. 

 “I did not want to go to three sets. I had the break and led 5-2 in the second set tie-break. If it had happened, I was going to fight for sure and try to take it in three, but I am very happy to win in two. I am really working hard every day and trying to improve any small things I can. I think today I stayed very focused all the time. I lost my focus one time on serve, when maybe I should not have been broken, but other than that I am very happy with my first match. The first match is always a  bit difficult”, said Rune. 

Australia’s Alexander Vukic beat Fabio Fognini 7-6 (13-11) 7-5 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. Vukic broke serve in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead. Fognini converted his fourth break-back point to draw level to 4-4 before saving a break point at 5-5. Fognini went up a 6-3 lead, but he wasted six set points in the tie-break. Vukic closed out the tie-break 13-11 on his third set point. 

Fognini earned a break to take a 2-1 lead. Vukic broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2 in the fourth game. Fognini lost four consecutive points from 4-5 30-0. Vukic earned the decisive break on his first match point to seal the second set 7-5. 

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Dominic Thiem battles past Laslo Djere in three sets in Tel Aviv

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Dominic Thiem came back from one set down to beat Laslo Djere 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in 2 hours and 40 minutes reaching the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. 

 

Djere broke serve in the third game to take a 3-1 lead. Thiem broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Djere earned his second break in the 11th game to close out the first set 7-5. 

Thiem broke serve at deuce in the sixth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Djere broke back in the seventh game to draw level to 4-4. Djere earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Thiem did not face a break point in the third set and converted his fourth break point in the third game to seal the third set 6-4. 

“I did not get off to a great start. I got the break in the second set and I was a bit lucky I could turn the match around. The third set was a real grind. I am vert grateful to everyone who came tonight. It is really nice to play in Israel”, said Thiem.  Roman Safiulin came back from one set down to beat Hugo Grenier 3-6 6-4 6-2 in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Safiulin earned his first ATP Tour win since he beat Mikael Ymer in Belgrade last April.

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