<
>

Venus seeded third; Federer, Roddick are 1-2

WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams will be seeded No. 1
for Wimbledon, despite being ranked only 10th in the world.

The two-time defending champion received a big break in the
seedings announced Wednesday by the All England Club, which took
into account her previous record and prowess on grass.

Venus Williams, who lost to her sister in the last two Wimbledon
finals and is ranked eighth, also got a break when she was seeded No. 3.

Thursday's draw will determine whether the Williams sisters
could meet for a third straight year in the final.


Does Venus think she'll win all in Wimbledon? Does she still get nervous? Ask her these questions and more in her chat on Friday at noon ET!

Russia's Anastasia Myskina, the French Open champion who is
ranked No. 3, is seeded second for Wimbledon, which begins Monday.

The women's field is wide open after last week's withdrawals of
top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne and No. 2 Kim Clijsters -- Henin-Hardenne with a viral illness and Clijsters with a wrist injury.

Amelie Mauresmo is seeded No. 4, followed by Lindsay Davenport,
French Open runner-up Elena Dementieva and Jennifer Capriati.

The seedings were more straightforward for the men, with the top
four following the rankings.

Defending champion and top-ranked Roger Federer is No. 1,
followed by Andy Roddick. Guillermo Coria, who lost in the French
Open final, is No. 3, with 2002 Wimbledon runner-up David
Nalbandian at No. 4.

Britain's Tim Henman was bumped up from sixth in the rankings to
No. 5 in the seedings. Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero dropped from
fifth to sixth.

Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion, was seeded at No. 7 _ three
places above his ranking.

The Williams sisters, who have faced each other in six Grand
Slam finals, both lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open and
have slipped steadily in the rankings. Last week, Serena was No.
11, out of the top 10 for the first time in five years.

During one stretch, the sisters won eight of 11 Grand Slam
tournaments. But Venus last won a Slam in 2001, and Serena hasn't
been in a major final since last year's Wimbledon.

Serena had surgery on her left knee Aug. 1, and didn't return to
the tour until March. Venus lost six months to a torn abdominal
muscle, won consecutive tournaments in April and May, then hurt her
left ankle at the German Open in May.