Melbourne, Australia (Sports Network) - World No. 1 and reigning champion Victoria Azarenka has been installed as the women's top seed at the Australian Open, which will get underway next Monday in Melbourne.
Azarenka captured her first-ever Grand Slam title by beating reigning French Open titlist Maria Sharapova in last year's Aussie finale. The win propelled the Belarusian star to the top of the women's rankings for the first time in her career. Azarenka would also go on to reach her first-ever U.S. Open final.
The top-seeded Azarenka is followed by the former No. 1 and former Aussie champ Sharapova, five-time Aussie champion Serena Williams, Wimbledon runner- up and last week's Auckland champion Agnieszka Radwanska, and German left- hander Angelique Kerber. Seeds six-through-10 are former French Open champ, former Aussie finalist and last week's Shenzhen titlist Li Na, 2012 French Open runner-up Sara Errani, former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova, former U.S. Open winner and heavy Aussie crowd favorite Sam Stosur, and former world No. 1 and former U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki.
Williams is fresh off her title at the season-opening event in Brisbane last week and also currently holds the Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles.
Serena's older sister Venus, a seven-time major champion, will be the 25th seed Down Under. Venus lost to Serena in the Aussie finale 10 years ago.