Andy Murray has been handed his highest seeding for a grand slam event after being installed at 15 for next week’s Australian Open.
Murray, who meets Andy Roddick tomorrow for a place in the Kooyong Classic final, yesterday said he was happy with his form going into the first major of the year.
The Scot, ranked 15 in the world, struggled to live up to his billing on his Australian Open debut last year, crashing out in the first round to Juan Ignacio Chela.
Defending champion Roger Federer and women’s world number two Maria Sharapova are top seeds for the Melbourne Park tournament.
Sharapova gets top billing because Justine Henin-Hardenne, the top-ranked woman in the world, has pulled out due to undisclosed personal reasons.
Home favourite Lleyton Hewitt faces a tough draw having been seeded 19th.
Federer leads the way ahead of Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal, Russian Nikolay Davydenko, Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia and American James Blake, with Andy Roddick (USA), Tommy Robredo (Spain), David Nalbandian (Argentina), Mario Ancic (Croatia) and Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) completing the top 10.
Last year’s finalist, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, is 11th while 2005 champion Marat Safin, who has also made the final on two other occasions, is seeded 26th.
Sharapova meanwhile leads defending champion Amelie Mauresmo of France, with Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Russian Nadia Petrova also in the top five.
Martina Hingis, Elena Dementieva, Patty Schnyder, Russian Dinara Safina and Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic make up the top 10.
Top 10 Australian Open men’s seeds: 1 R Federer (Swi), 2 R Nadal (Spa), 3 N Davydenko (Rus), 4 I Ljubicic (Cro), 5 J Blake (USA), 6 A Roddick (USA), 7 T Robredo (Spa), 8 D Nalbandian (Arg), 9 M Ancic (Cro), 10 F Gonzalez (Chi).
Others: 15 A Murray (Gbr), 19 L Hewitt (Aus), 20 Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic), 21 Dmitry Tursunov (Russia), 22 Dominik Hrbaty (Slovakia), 23 Robin Soderling (Sweden)
Top 10 women: 1 M Sharapova (Rus), 2 A Mauresmo (Fra), 3 S Kuznetsova (Rus), 4 K Clijsters (Bel), 5 N Petrova (Rus), 6 M Hingis (Swi), 7 E Dementieva (Rus), 8 P Schnyder (Swi), 9 D Safina (Rus), 10 N Vaidisova (Cze)