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Nishikori seeded 17th for Australian Open

Kyodo

Kei Nishikori will be 17th among the 32 seeded players announced by organizers on Monday for the men’s and women’s singles draws for the Australian Open.

The world No. 18-ranked Nishikori was the first seeded Japanese men’s player at a Grand Slam tournament since 1973, gaining the 24th seed at last year’s meet.

At that tournament he was also the first to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since Shuzo Matsuoka achieved the feat at the 1995 Wimbledon Championships.

Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka have been confirmed as the top seeds in their respective competitions getting underway next Monday. Roger Federer takes the men’s second seed followed by London Olympic champion Andy Murray.

French Open champion Maria Sharapova is seeded second in the women’s event and Serena Williams, the reigning Wimbledon, Olympic and U.S. Open champion, is the third seed.