Barty, de Minaur handed Open seeds

Barty, de Minaur handed Open seeds

January 10, 2019

Ashleigh Barty won't face a higher-ranked opponent until the fourth round of the Australian Open if she makes a run into the second week of the season-opening grand slam.

The top-ranked Australian, who upset world No.1 Simona Halep at the Sydney International on Wednesday, will be the 15th seed at Melbourne Park, one spot ahead of 23-time major winner Serena Williams.

Ashleigh Barty is the 15th seed for the Australian Open.Credit:AAP

The 23-year-old was bemused when asked if he planned to watch the draw, conducted at Melbourne Park and televised live.

‘‘I’m not entirely sure what I will be doing but I think there will be more things on than the Australian Open draw,’’ he said with a laugh.

While Kyrgios won’t be tuning in, plenty of others in the 128-strong men’s field will be in the hope they aren’t drawn to face Australia’s enigmatic two-time major quarter-finalist.

Unseeded at a grand slam for the first time since the 2015 US Open, Kyrgios could conceivably meet defending champion Federer or fellow favourites Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the first round.

A quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park in 2015, Kyrgios reached the fourth round last year before falling in a tight four-setter to third seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Kyrgios said there was a simple recipe for success but it still needed to be executed.

‘‘I guess I just have to raise my game a little bit,’’ the Canberran said.

‘‘I’ve been to the fourth round [of grand slams] so many times, two quarter-finals and I’ve had some tough matches in those rounds.‘‘I guess I just have to play better at the end of the day.’’

Kyrgios said there was plenty for Australian fans to cheer about in the men’s draw, with his Kooyong rival Bernard Tomic back in form and de Minaur leading the local charge.

John Millman, Matt Ebden, Jordan Thompson and Tomic were direct entries, with Jason Kubler, James Duckworth, Alexei Popyrin, Marc Polmans and Alex Bolt earning wildcards.

Barty will be joined in the women's draw by Daria Gavrilova, Ajla Tomljanovic, Samantha Stosur and wildcards Priscilla Hon, Kimberly Birrell, Destanee Aiava, Ellen Perez and Zoe Hives.

Men's seeds

Women’s singles

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