Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Agassi No. 1, but Hewitt is top seed



The Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England - Defending champions Lleyton Hewitt and Serena Williams are seeded No.  1 for Wimbledon.

Hewitt got the top seeding Monday ahead of Andre Agassi, who replaced the Australian as No.  1 in this week's ATP Tour rankings. Agassi was seeded No. 2, followed by French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

By tradition, Hewitt will play the first match on Centre Court when the two-week championships open Monday.

On the women's side, Williams was seeded ahead of Belgian star Kim Clijsters and French Open winner Justine Henin-Hardenne. Serena's older sister, Venus, was seeded No.  4.

The seeding means the Williams sisters could be in the same half of the draw and meet before the final. They met in four of the last five Grand Slam finals. The draw will be held today.

Wimbledon takes into account the unusual nature of grass-court tennis and is the only Grand Slam that does not adhere strictly to the ATP and WTA tour rankings in seeding players.

WITHDRAWALS: Anna Kournikova has pulled out of Wimbledon because of a back injury.

Also Monday, No. 4 Carlos Moya of Spain and Tommy Haas of Germany withdrew with unspecified injuries.

A tearful Kournikova withdrew from the DFS Classic grass-court tournament in Birmingham last week after aggravating her injury in practice. Kournikova, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1997, has won only one of 10 matches this year on the WTA Tour and withdrawn from a series of tournaments with leg and back problems. She has slipped to No. 77 in the rankings.

Other players who have withdrawn from Wimbledon include former champion Goran Ivanisevic, Monica Seles and former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson.

Wimbledon top seeds

Men

1. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia

2. Andre Agassi, United States

3. Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain

4. Roger Federer, Switzerland

5. Andy Roddick, United States

6. David Nalbandian, Argentina

7. Guillermo Coria, Argentina

8. Sjeng Schalken, Netherlands

9. Rainer Schuettler, Germany

10. Tim Henman, Britain

Women

1. Serena Williams, U.S

2. Kim Clijsters, Belgium

3. Justine Henin-Hardenne, Belgium

4. Venus Williams, U.S.

5. Lindsay Davenport, U.S.

6. Amelie Mauresmo, France

7. Chanda Rubin, U.S.

8. Jennifer Capriati, U.S.

9. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia

10. Anastasia Myskina, Russia




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