New York (AFP) - Two-time defending champion Serena Williams was named the top seed Wednesday for the US Open, the year's final Grand Slam tennis showdown that opens Monday on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.
World number one Williams was also the US Open top seed in 2002 and 2013 and each time went on to win the title. She also won the US Open crown in 1999, 2008 and 2012.
Williams is a five-time Wimbledon and Australian Open champion as well and also lists two French Open titles among her 17 Grand Slam singles crowns.
Adding another trophy to her career haul after the Flushing Meadows fortnight would put Williams, 32, level with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as the second-best all-time Slam singles title winners of the Open Era, behind Steffi Graf's record 22 titles in the span.
A sixth US Open title by Williams would also match Evert for the most in the Open Era.
Romania's Simona Halep, runner-up at this year's French Open, was made the second seed followed by Czech Petra Kvitova, who last month captured her second Wimbledon crown, and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in fourth.
World No. 2 Li Na of China withdrew in July because of a knee injury. Otherwise the US Tennis Association followed rankings in setting the top seeds.
Russia's Maria Sharapova, the reigning French Open champion and 2006 US Open winner, was made the fifth seed.
Belarus' Victoria Azarenka, who lost to Williams in the past two US Open finals, was made the 16th seed.
Two-time US Open champion Venus Williams was seeded 19th while 2004 US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia was seeded 20th, four spots above the 2011 US Open champion, Samantha Stosur of Australia.
World number one Novak Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon champion seeking his eighth career Grand Slam singles crown, was named the top seed on the men's side with 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer, the five-time US Open champion, made the second seed.
Djokovic has played in the past four US Open men's finals, winning the title in 2011. He downed Federer in five sets in last month's Wimbledon final.
Second-ranked Rafael Nadal withdrew from the event with a right wrist injury.
Andy Murray, the 2012 US Open champion, was seeded eighth.
Federer is seeded at the US Open for the 14th year in a row, an Open-Era streak trailing only the 18 consecutive years of Jimmy Connors.