Federer, Safina top seeds at the US Open

NEW YORK: Seeding for the men and women at this year''s US Open has been announced by US Tennis Association(USTA).

Five time defending champion Roger Federer gets top billing in the men''s draw with Andy Murray being seeded second at a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. Rafael Nadal, back after missing a couple of crucial mid-season months to injury moves down to number 3.

These seedings set up an exciting end to the final grand slam of the year for the men, and if all goes to plan we should see a fascinating rematch of last year''s final between the Swiss Legend, Federer, gunning for his 16th slam and British youngster, Murray, on the brink of his 1st.

Dinara Safina is the women''s number one seed with the Williams sisters Serena and Venus seeded second and third respectively.

The USTA''s decision to stick to the world rankings is bound to lead to some debate as Safina has never won a Grand Slam while Serena has won three of the last four and has an impressive 11 in total. The outspoken Serena will certainly have something to say once the tournament begins.

Other women''s seeds worth noting are Elena Dementieva (4), 2008 US Open runner up Jelena Jankovic (5) and 2006 champion Maria Sharapova who, having just come back after a long injury lay off, is all the way down at number 29. Undoubtedly, the unseeded woman to look out for is 2005 champion Kim Clijsters who has just come out of retirement and has shown promise in the build up to Flushing Meadows.

On the men''s side, Novak Djokovic, the 2007 runner up is seeded 4th while Andy Roddick, always the crowd favourite at the US Open, is 5th.