Serena Williams given top seed at U.S. Open

Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:45pm IST

Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during their championship match at the women's Cincinnati Open tennis tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio August 18, 2013. REUTERS/John Sommers II

Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during their championship match at the women's Cincinnati Open tennis tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio August 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/John Sommers II

REUTERS - World number one and defending champion Serena Williams has been given the top seeding for the U.S. Open, organisers announced on Tuesday.

Belarussia's Victoria Azarenka, who beat Williams in Sunday's final of the Cincinnati Open, is the second seed ahead of Maria Sharapova of Russia and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska.

Williams heads into the Open, which starts on August 26, looking to add to her French Open title from this year, her 16th Grand Slam singles triumph, which includes four championships at Flushing Meadows.

Williams' sister Venus, a two-times U.S. Open winner but currently ranked 60th in the world, was unseeded.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic is the top seed in the men's draw which includes five-times U.S. Open champion and 17-times grand slam winner Roger Federer as seventh seed - his first time the Swiss has been placed outside the top three in a grand slam in over ten years.

Spaniard Rafa Nadal is the number two seed, ahead of Britain's Andy Murray, the defending champion and this year's Wimbledon winner.

The draw for the tournament will be held on Thursday.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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