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Kuerten, Hingis Tops Down Under

The Australian Open made Gustavo Kuerten the first Brazilian top seed in a Grand Slam tournament.

Kuerten earned the seeding announced Thursday by finishing 2000 ranked No. 1. The only other South American to be seeded No. 1 at a major tournament since 1969 was Argentine Guillermo Vilas, the top seeded in the Australian Open from 1977-81.

The tournament begins Monday with Marat Safin seeded second and two-time champion Pete Sampras third. Magnus Norman is fourth, followed by Yevgeny Kafelnikov, defending champion Andre Agassi, and Australian Lleyton Hewitt.

On the women's side, three-time champion Martina Hingis is seeded No. 1 for the third time. Defending champion Lindsay Davenport is second and Venus Williams, bidding for her third consecutive Grand Slam title, is third. Monica Seles is seeded fourth.

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