Photo: Susan MullaneKaterina Siniakova (CZE)
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) and Nikola Milojevic (SRB) have been named as top seeds for the Australian Open which gets underway on Saturday in Melbourne.
Siniakova, the runner up in the race to become the 2012 ITF World Champion, claimed two Grade A titles last year, the Trofeo Bonfiglio and Osaka Mayor’s Cup as well as reaching the final of the Orange Bowl.
Second seed Siniakova will be looking to claim her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne and starts as the favourite after the withdrawal of number one seed Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) on the eve of the event.
However, Siniakova will still come up against some strong competition. Her conqueror at the Orange Bowl was third seed Ana Konjuh (CRO). In addition to her prestigious Orange Bowl title, Konjuh claimed three Grade 1 titles and reached the final of the girls’ doubles event at 2012 Wimbledon, despite being only 14 years old.
Konjuh enters the tournament on an unbeaten streak of 13 matches and has recently been nominated to represent Croatia in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Zone Group I event.
Fourth seed Antonia Lottner (GER) will be aiming to claim the first Grand Slam title of her junior career, as is the fifth seed and current Asian Champion Ching-Wen Hsu (TPE). Seventh seed Ana Danilina (KAZ) enters the tournament undefeated in 2013 and having won the Grade 1 Loy Yang Traralgon last week. Meanwhile, Australian hopes lie with Sara Tomic (AUS), younger sister of Bernard.
Top seed in the boys’ event is Nikola Milojevic (SRB). Current world No. 1 Milojevic has enjoyed a run of 20 victories with only one defeat, a medical retirement, since the 2012 US Open junior tournament.
Milojevic's main competitor will be world No. 2 Gianluigi Quinzi from Italy. Quinzi had an outstanding 2012, claiming four titles, reaching the quarterfinals of Junior Wimbledon and being a member of the victorious Junior Davis Cup team, and will be aiming to claim a maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne.
Australians Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis should also feature strongly in the boys' event. Kyrgios, the current world No. 3 enjoyed a strong second half to 2012 and maintained that form last week by winning the Grade 1 Loy Yang Traralgon tournament. Kokkinakis enters the tournament on an ATP ranking of world No. 758, the highest in the draw. Kyrgios and Kokkinakis will be keen to make the most of the home support and go deep into the tournament.