Ashleigh Barty has found Simona Halep in hot form in recent weeks. Picture: AP.
Ashleigh Barty has found Simona Halep in hot form in recent weeks. Picture: AP.

Sick Barty top Aussie seed for US Open

ASHLEIGH Barty will be the top seeded Australian at this year's US Open if she wins her battle with a viral illness that forced her out of the Connecticut Open this week.

The Aussie No.1 has been named 18th women's singles seed with compatriot Daria Gavrilova named 26th seed and Nick Kyrgios named 30th men's singles seed the New York grand slam, which starts on Monday (EST).

Barty, who is seeded directly below the Williams sisters, pulled out the Connecticut event due to sickness.

The world No.17 has been in solid form, winning eight of her last 11 matches on hard courts.

Barty's only blemishes have been her early elimination from Wimbledon last month and two losses to world No.1 Simona Halep - in a semi-final at the Canadian Open in Montreal and then in the round of 16 in Cincinnati last week.

Gavrilova will be the next highest-seeded Australian at next week's major and she's been in fine form in Connecticut, where she's vying to defend her sole WTA title.

The world No.24 has made it through to the final 16 after beating Romania's Irina Begu 6-2 6-1.

Meanwhile, the only seeded Australian in the men's draw is Kyrgios, who has been named 30th seed.

The mercurial world No.30 narrowly missed a spot in the Cincinnati quarterfinals last week to world No.3 Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro.

However his performance was overshadowed by his behaviour in his previous match against qualifier Denis Kudla, where he admitted to tanking the second set before beating the American.

Kyrgios joins James Duckworth, Alex de Minaur, Matt Ebden, John Millman, Jordan Thompson and wildcard Jason Kubler in the men's singles event.

Exciting youngsters Marc Polmans, Max Purcell, Alex Bolt and journeyman John- Patrick Smith are all contesting qualifying this week along with Tomic and Kokkinakis.

Meanwhile, rising 20-year-old Lizette Cabrera has won an eight-strong playoff to secure Australia's reciprocal wildcard into the women's singles. Cabrera joins seeds Barty, Gavrilova, former champion Samantha Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic in the main draw.

Destanee Aiava, Jaimee Fourlis and Olivia Rogowska are hoping to qualify.

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