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Federer, Safina Number 1 Seeds for US Open Next Week

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World Number One players Roger Federer of Switzerland and Dinara Safina of Russia were given the top seeds for this year’s U.S. Open Tennis Championships which starts next week in Flushing Meadows, New York. The U.S. Open is the last Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year and the winner of both the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively will earn $1.6 million dollars in prize money.

Roger Federer is seeking his sixth consecutive U.S. Open title after winning the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year. He is followed in the seedings by Andy Murray (U.K.) #2, Rafael Nadal (Spain), #3, Novak Djokovic (Serbia) #4, and Andy Roddick (U.S.) #5.

Safina, a semifinalist last year, is still seeking her first ever Grand Slam title. She is followed in the seedings by defending champion Serena Williams (U.S.) #2, Venus Wiliams (U.S.) #3, Elena Dementieva (Russia) #4 and Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) #5.

Safina, despite a consistent record this year, has endured criticism for being ranked number one despite having failed to win a Grand Slam tournament while Serena Williams has won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. Tournament officials did consider changing the seedings to reflect the player’s records, but decided against it in the end according to tournament director Jim Curley.

"The players do earn their rankings over a 12-month period, both at Grand Slams and non-Grand Slam events. At the end of the day, whether you're seeded No. 1 or seeded No. 2 at the U.S. Open, it really doesn't matter. You're either at the top of the draw or the bottom of the draw, and the rest of the draw is determined by a coin toss," Curley said. "From a competition perspective, there really isn't any difference being seeded 1 or 2."

Other notable players on the women’s side include 2006 champion Maria Sharapova who this year is seeded 29th after returning from an eight-month layoff due to a shoulder injury. Kim Clijsters, who won the event in 2005, returns as a wildcard entrant into the main draw. On the men’s side, U.S. men’s players in the top seedings include James Blake (21), Sam Querrey (22) and Mardy Fish (25).

The main draw will be announced on Thursday with first round play beginning Monday, August 31st.

Written by Erik Gudris

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