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Top-Ranked Victoria Azarenka Seeded No. 1 At U.S. Open; Serena Seeded Fourth

Victoria Azarenka/file (credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Victoria Azarenka/file (credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka will be seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open, with 2006 champion Maria Sharapova at No. 3 and three-time winner Serena Williams at No. 4.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced the seeds on Wednesday, strictly following this week’s WTA rankings.

WEB EXTRA: Full coverage of the 2012 U.S. Open

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in January, is followed by No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska, the runner-up to Williams at Wimbledon last month.

Defending U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur is seeded seventh, and three-time winner Kim Clijsters is No. 23.

Venus Williams, who won the Open in 2000 and 2001, is ranked 47th and is unseeded.

The USTA said on Tuesday that Roger Federer is seeded No. 1 among the men.

The draw is Thursday and play begins on Monday.

Who’s your early pick on the women’s side? Is Serena the favorite coming off her Olympic Gold Medal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)