Murray seeded fourth in Melbourne

  • Last Updated: January 10 2014, 10:09 GMT

Andy Murray is seeded fourth for the Australian Open with world number ones Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams leading the way.

Andy Murray: Fourth seed at Melbourne
Andy Murray: Fourth seed at Melbourne

Wimbledon champion Murray, a three-time finalist in Melbourne, is playing his first grand slam since back surgery in September ruled him out of the final two months of last season.

He has dropped only one place in the standings in that time, behind Spain's David Ferrer, and cannot face either Nadal or three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic until the semi-finals in Melbourne.

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro is the fifth seed ahead of 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer, with Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rounding off the top 10.

The top 28 seeds correspond directly to the rankings but Canada's Vasek Pospisil, who lost in qualifying 12 months ago, is elevated to 29th because of Jurgen Melzer's withdrawal through injury.

Spain's Fernando Verdasco is the 32nd and final seed.

Williams, who warmed up for the Australian Open by winning the title in Brisbane last week, heads defending champion Victoria Azarenka and fit-again Maria Sharapova in the women's seedings.

Sharapova missed the final part of last season, including the US Open, because of shoulder problems.

Last year's beaten finalist, Li Na, is fourth seed ahead of Agnieszka Radwanksa, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki.

Young American Sloane Stephens, who beat Williams to reach the semi-finals last year, is 13th with Ana Ivanovic 14th and Australian hope Sam Stosur 17th.

Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard is seeded for the first time at a grand slam at 30, with injured world number 18 Maria Kirilenko of Russia the only withdrawal from the top 32.

The draw takes place at 2330 GMT on Thursday.

Australian Open men's seeds:

1. Rafael Nadal

2. Novak Djokovic

3. David Ferrer

4. Andy Murray

5. Juan Martin Del Potro

6. Roger Federer

7. Tomas Berdych

8. Stanislas Wawrinka

9. Richard Gasquet

10. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

11. Milos Raonic

12. Tommy Haas

13. Nicolas Almagro

14. John Isner

15. Mikhail Youzhny

16. Fabio Fognini

17. Kei Nishikori

18. Tommy Robredo

19. Gilles Simon

20. Kevin Anderson

21. Jerzy Janowicz

22. Philipp Kohlschreiber

23. Grigor Dimitrov

24. Ernesest Gulbis

25. Andreas Seppi

26. Gael Monfils

27. Feliciano Lopez

28. Benoit Paire

29. Vasek Pospisil

30. Jeremy Chardy

31. Dmitry Tursunov

32. Fernando Verdasco

Australian Open women's seeds:

1. Serena Williams

2. Victoria Azarenka

3. Maria Sharapova

4. Li Na

5. Agnieszka Radwanska

6. Petra Kvitova

7. Sara Errani

8. Jelena Jankovic

9. Angelique Kerber

10. Caroline Wozniacki

11. Simona Halep

12. Roberta Vinci

13. Sloane Stephens

14. Ana Ivanovic

15. Sabine Lisicki

16. Carla Suarez Navarro

17. Sam Stosur

18. Kirsten Flipkens

19. Svetlana Kuznetsova

20. Dominika Cibulkova

21. Sorana Cirstea

22. Ekaterina Makarova

23. Elena Vesnina

24. Kaia Kanepi

25. Alize Cornet

26. Lucie Safarova

27. Jamie Hampton

28. Flavia Pennetta

29. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

30. Eugenie Bouchard

31. Daniela Hantuchova

32. Magdalena Rybarikova

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