Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, world number ones, were named the top seeds on Thursday for next week’s Australian Open with organisers aligning with the current rankings.
Scotland’s Murray is chasing his first title at Melbourne Park after losing in the final five times, including in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 to Serb rival Novak Djokovic, who is seeded two.
Kerber will be defending her first Grand Slam having upset Serena Williams, seeded two this year, in the decider last year.
Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who lost to Murray in the 2016 semi-finals, is the third men’s seed with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka fourth and Japanese hope Kei Nishikori fifth.
Swiss legend Roger Federer starts at 17 as he makes a comeback after six months out with a knee injury. His old foe Rafael Nadal, also returning from injury, is ninth.
Serena Williams, gunning for a 23rd Grand Slam title to beat Steffi Graf’s Open-era record, is scheduled to again meet Kerber in the women’s final.
But there are a host of dangerous players looking to stop her, with Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska seeded three and Romania’s Simona Halep four. US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova rounds out the top five.