[Tennis] Roddick, Henin-Hardenne head seedings

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I love tennis! ;)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- American Andy Roddick and Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne, the world's top-ranked tennis players, earned the No. 1 seedings Thursday for the season-opening Australian Open.

The seedings -- 32 each for men and women -- generally followed the ATP and WTA rankings.

An exception was American Venus Williams, the 2003 runner-up to sister Serena, who was seeded third despite a ranking that slipped to 11th at the end of 2003 because of an extended absence due to an abdominal injury.

Roddick, who vaulted to the men's top spot after winning the U.S. Open in September, is looking to improve on his semifinal loss here last year. His run was highlighted by back-to-back five-set victories, including a quarterfinal marathon over Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui that featured a Grand Slam record 21-19 fifth set.

Defending champion Andre Agassi is seeded fourth. The 33-year-old American beat No. 2 Roger Federer, the reigning Wimbledon champion, on Thursday in a warmup event as he seeks his fifth Australian Open title and ninth Grand Slam crown. He has won in Melbourne three of the last four years, missing out only in 2002 when he was sidelined by a wrist injury.

The United States has six men among the 32 seeded players, followed by Spain with five, including No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Henin-Hardenne won eight tournaments in 2003, including the French and U.S. Opens. She is seeking her third Grand Slam title against a field depleted by the injury-related withdrawals of former champions Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce.

Fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters, seeded second, also has been fighting injury problems. She was forced out of the Hopman Cup in Perth last week after injuring her left ankle against Australia's Alicia Molik and withdrew from the adidas International in Sydney on Tuesday.

Venus Williams, trying to add the Australian Open title to her two Wimbledon and two U.S. Open crowns, has looked fit during practice.

Russians accounted for one-quarter of the seeded players in the women's draw, led by No. 6 Anastasia Myskina and No. 7 Elena Dementieva. Williams heads five Americans, including No. 5 Lindsay Davenport and No. 9 Chanda Rubin, among the top 32 women.

Australian Open Seedings
Andy Roddick, United States  1  Justine Henin-Hardenne, Belgium
Roger Federer, Switzerland  2  Kim Clijsters, Belgium
Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain  3  Venus Williams, United States
Andre Agassi, United States  4  Amelie Mauresmo, France
Guillermo Coria, Argentina  5  Lindsay Davenport, United States
Rainer Schuettler, Germany  6  Anastasia Myskina, Russia
Carlos Moya, Spain  7  Elena Dementieva, Russia
David Nalbandian, Argentina  8  Ai Sugiyama, Japan
Sebastien Grosjean, France  9  Chanda Rubin, United States
Mark Philippoussis, Australia  10  Nadia Petrova, Russia
Tim Henman, Britain  11  Vera Zvonareva, Russia
Nicolas Massu, Chile  12  Paola Suarez, Argentina
Paradorn Srichaphan, Thailand  13  Conchita Martinez, Spain
Jiri Novak, Czech Republic  14  Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi, Israel
Lleyton Hewitt, Australia  15  Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia
Sjeng Schalken, Netherlands  16  Magui Serna, Spain
Martin Verkerk, Netherlands  17  Meghann Shaughnessy, U.S.
Younes El Aynaoui, Morocco  18  Francesca Schiavone, Italy
Gustavo Kuerten, Brazil  19  Eleni Daniilidou, Greece
Tommy Robredo, Spain  20  Silvia Farina Elia, Italy
Mardy Fish, United States  21  Elena Bovina, Russia
Agustin Calleri, Argentina  22  Patty Schnyder, Switzerland
Felix Mantilla, Spain  23  Lina Krasnoroutskaya, Russia
Max Mirnyi, Belarus  24  Madgalena Maleeva, Bulgaria
Jonas Bjorkman, Sweden  25  Lisa Raymond, United States
Albert Costa, Spain  26  Tina Pisnik, Slovenia
Taylor Dent, United States  27  Amanda Coetzer, South Africa
Feliciano Lopez, Spain  28  Maria Sharapova, Russia
Vincent Spadea, United States  29  Nathalie Dechy, France
Arnaud Clement, France  30  Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa  31  Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand
Robby Ginepri, United States  32  Fabiola Zuluaga, Colombia

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He's awesome....Very young, and very good. If he keeps his head on straight, he could do really well.

Indeed, he just has to be careful now, a lot of tennis players go down once they reached #1. It's because they cannot deal with the fame, pressure and money. I am sure Roddick will get over this but yet he has to be careful.

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