US Open champion Andy Murray seeded third

Andy Murray is third seed for this year's US Open. Picture: Reuters
Andy Murray is third seed for this year's US Open. Picture: Reuters
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DEFENDING champion Andy Murray is seeded third at the US Open, while Roger Federer is seeded No 7 – his first slot outside the top three at any Grand Slam tournament in a decade.

Federer’s ranking dropped two slots to seventh on Monday, and the US Tennis Association’s seedings followed the ATP standings.

His record 17 Grand Slam titles include five at the US Open. He’s among five former champions in the men’s field, including No 1 seed Novak Djokovic, No 2 Rafael Nadal and No 3 Murray.

Federer was seeded No 1 at 18 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments from 2004-08. He hadn’t been seeded outside the top three at the US Open since he was 13th in 2002.

The last time he was seeded fourth or worse at any major tournament was when he was No 4 at Wimbledon in 2003 – when he went on to win his first Grand Slam title.

The US Open women’s seedings were due to be announced last night while the draw is scheduled for tomorrow. Play at the year’s last major tournament starts next Monday.

Meanwhile, former world number one Maria Sharapova is reportedly considering a name change in order to promote confectionery for the duration of the US Open.

The Russian is involved in the Sugarpova brand of sweets, and a brief name change – if it goes ahead – would advertise her candy range before she reverts back to Sharapova at the end of the tournament.

The New York Post claims the 26-year-old, who topped Forbes’ list of the highest paid female athletes with 29 million US dollars (£18.5m) from tour winnings and endorsements in the year up to June 2013, has appealed through Florida’s Supreme Court to change her surname.

Even if the court was to give Sharapova the green light, she would still need the grand slam committee to grant permission before her name change could take effect on the tennis court.