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Federer, Sharapova get top billing

NEW YORK: The top-ranked Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova have been named top seeds for next week's U.S. Open after the seeding committee of the United States Tennis Association decided to remain faithful to the official rankings.

Wimbledon champion Federer, who has won nine titles this year, will return to New York as the strong favourite to defend the U.S. Open crown he won 12 months ago by beating Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the final.

The French Open champion Rafael Nadal of Spain is seeded second. After becoming the first Russian woman to top the rankings earlier this week, Sharapova has been seeded ahead of American Lindsay Davenport, the runner-up at the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year.

The seeds: Men: 1. Roger Federer (Sui); 2. Rafael Nadal (Esp); 3. Lleyton Hewitt (Aus); 4. Andy Roddick (USA); 5. Marat Safin (Rus); 6. Nikolay Davydenko (Rus); 7. Andre Agassi (USA); 8. Guillermo Coria (Arg); 9. Gaston Gaudio (Arg); 10. Mariano Puerta (Arg); 11. David Nalbandian (Arg); 12. Tim Henman (Gbr); 13. Richard Gasquet (Fra); 14. Thomas Johansson (Swe); 15. Dominik Hrbaty (Svk); 16. Radek Stepanek (Cze); 17. David Ferrer (Esp); 18. Ivan Ljubicic (Cro); 19. Tommy Robredo (Esp); 20. Juan Carlos Ferrero (Esp); 21. Fernando Gonzalez (Chi); 22. Mario Ancic (Cro); 23. Jiri Novak (Cze); 24. Mikhail Youzhny (Rus); 25. Taylor Dent (USA); 26. Feliciano Lopez (Esp); 27. Olivier Rochus (Bel); 28. Greg Rusedski (Gbr); 29. Tommy Haas (Ger); 30. Max Mirnyi (Brs); 31. Carlos Moya (Esp); 32. Tomas Berdych (Cze).

Women: 1. Maria Sharapova (Rus); 2. Lindsay Davenport (USA); 3. Amelie Mauresmo (Fra); 4. Kim Clijsters (Bel); 5. Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus); 6. Elena Dementieva (Rus); 7. Justine Henin-Hardenne (Bel); 8. Serena Williams (USA); 9. Nadia Petrova (Rus); 10. Venus Williams (USA); 11. Patty Schnyder (Sui); 12. Mary Pierce (Fra); 13. Anastasia Myskina (Rus); 14. Alicia Molik (Aus); 15. Nathalie Dechy (Fra); 16. Elena Bovina (Rus); 17. Jelena Jankovic (SCG); 18. Ana Ivanovic (SCG); 19. Vera Zvonareva (Rus); 20. Elena Likhovtseva (Rus); 21. Daniela Hantuchova (Svk); 22. Dinara Safina (Rus); 23. Silvia Farina Elia (Ita); 24. Tatiana Golovin (Fra); 25. Shinobu Asagoe (Jpn); 26. Francesca Schiavone (Ita); 27. Nicole Vaidisova (Cze); 28. Gisela Dulko (Arg); 29. Flavia Pennetta (Ita); 30. Anna Chakvetadze (Rus); 31. Ai Sugiyama (Jpn); 32. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger).

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