Nadal unhappy to be seeded below Federer

LONDON • Eight-time champion Roger Federer was yesterday confirmed as the second seed for Wimbledon, bumping Rafael Nadal down to third despite the Swiss being ranked below the Spaniard.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic tops the draw for the grass court Grand Slam starting on Monday, while world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia is the top seed in the women's singles.

Two-time champion Nadal is guaranteed to be in the same half of the draw as either world No. 3 Federer or Djokovic, and may have to beat the pair if he is to claim his first title at the All England Club since 2010.

The world No. 2 had been critical of the seedings formula earlier this week, saying "it is not a good thing" that it is the only one of the four Slam events that does not stick rigidly to ATP rankings for seedings.

Instead, Wimbledon uses form over the past 24 months on the surface to tweak the positions of the top-32 players in the men's draw.

While the women's seedings are in line with the WTA rankings - Japan's Naomi Osaka is second behind Barty - Wimbledon reserves the right to change the order to create "a balanced draw".

But Nadal has never been a fan of the format, telling Spanish TV channels Movistar and #Vamos that he was not the only one who had genuine gripes.

NOT JUST GRASS COURT

There have been many occasions when players have played well all year on all surfaces, but Wimbledon does not respect the ranking they have earned.

RAFAEL NADAL, on Wimbledon's ranking system to determine the seedings.

He said: "There have been many occasions when players have played well all year on all surfaces, but Wimbledon does not respect the ranking they have earned.

"It is only Wimbledon that does it. If they all did it, it would seem more correct."

Djokovic said the rules were "a little bit surprising".

The world No. 1 said: "Roger is the greatest of all time and has won the most Wimbledon titles of any player in history and, if any player deserves it, it's him. But at the same time, it's Nadal that he is taking over (from as) the second seed so it's surprising to be honest."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2019, with the headline 'Nadal unhappy to be seeded below Federer'. Print Edition | Subscribe