Nick Kyrgios' Australian Open prospects have received a major boost with tennis officials opting against reverting to 16 seeds for the season's four grand slam events.
The Grand Slam Board had intended to cut in half the number of seeds from 32 as of 2019 but decided against the move at a meeting during the US Open in New York.
The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open have used 32 seeds since June 2001 to, in theory, avoid a spate of early-round upsets at the four biggest events of the year.
Under the current system, none of the 32 seeds at the slams can possibly run into a higher-ranked rival until at least the third round.
With 16 seeds, the world No.1 could conceivably play the world No.17 in the first round.
It means the 27th-ranked Kyrgios, a former Australian Open quarter-finalist, is spared an early-round confrontation with Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, if he's unable to improve his position before January.
The decision not to revert to 16 seeds is also good news for Ashleigh Barty.
Australia's top-ranked woman is currently ranked 17th, meaning she could have drawn world No.1 Simona Halep in the first round at Melbourne Park had the system changed.
But after a full season of grand slam match analysis and feedback from all other constituencies, notably players and broadcast partners, the status quo will remain.
Fellow Australians Daria Garvilova, US Open quarter-finalist John Millman and teenage ace Alex de Minaur could also prove beneficiaries.
Gavrilova, currently No.32 in the world, has spent much of the past two years hovering between 20th and 30th in the rankings, good enough to secure a seeding at the slams.
Millman, ranked 37th, and de Minaur, 38th, are both making a strong push to crack the top 32 by the end of the year, raising the possibility that Australia could have as many as five seeds at the 2019 Australian Open.