Ashleigh Barty tops Australian Open 2020 women's seeds as Serena Williams returns to top 10

JOE KRISHNAN
Evening Standard
Getty Images
Getty Images

Ashleigh Barty has been handed the top seed for the Australian Open women's singles draw.

The 23-year-old, who won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open last year, topped the end-of-year world rankings and therefore heads into her home tournament with the best path to the final.

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Barty replaces 2019 champion Naomi Osaka at the summit, with the Japanese dropping to third behind Karolina Pliskova after failing to make it to the quarter-finals of any of the last three Slams.

Simona Halep, a finalist in Melbourne in 2018, takes the no. 4 spot while Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic are rewarded for their fine campaigns in fifth and sixth respectively.

Johanna Konta is the sole Briton included amongst the seeds in 12th. She crashed out in the second round last year but recovered to make the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and US Open and reached the last four at Roland Garros.

Serena Williams is targeting Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slams Photo: AFP via Getty Images
Serena Williams is targeting Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slams Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Serena Williams has climbed back into the top 10 for the first time since she won the tournament while pregnant back in 2017.

The American is yet to win a Slam since her return to the sport 18 months ago but will now have a better outlook ahead of Thursday's draw after being seeded eighth.

Australian Open women's singles seeds in full:

1. Ashleigh Barty (AUS)

2. Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

3. Naomi Osaka (JPN)

4. Simona Halep (ROU)

5. Elina Svitolina (UKR)

6. Belinda Bencic (SWI)

7. Petra Kvitova (CZE)

8. Serena Williams (USA)

9. Kiki Bertens (NED)

10. Madison Keys (USA)

11. Aryna Sabalenka (LAT)

12. Johanna Konta (GBR)

13. Petra Martic (CRO)

14. Sofia Kenin (USA)

15. Marketa Vondrousova (CZE)

16. Elise Mertens (BEL)

17. Angelique Kerber (GER)

18. Alison Riske (USA)

19. Donna Vekic (SRB)

20. Karolina Muchova (CZE)

21. Amanda Anisimova (USA)

22. Maria Sakkari (GRE)

23. Dayana Yastremska (UKR)

24. Sloane Stephens (USA)

25. Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS)

26. Danielle Collins (USA)

27. Qiang Wang (CHN)

28. Anett Kontaveit (EST)

29. Elena Rybakina (RUS)

30. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

31. Anastasija Sevastova (BLR)

32. Barbora Strycova (CZE)

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