Wimbledon seedings confirm Rafa Nadal’s worst fears

Posted at 5:38 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 09:37:31-04

The seedings for Wimbledon are out, and they are unlikely to please Rafael Nadal.

The 12-time French Open champion has been seeded third behind world No.1 Novak Djokovic and eight-time champion Roger Federer.

That means Nadal, who is ranked second in the world but has struggled on grass in recent years, could meet defending champion Djokovic in the semifinals in the grass-court grand slam.

Wimbledon is the only one of the four majors not to follow world rankings and takes into account form on grass.

“It’s their choice. Either way, being second or third seed, I have to play at the best level to aspire to the things I aspire to,” the 33-year-old Nadal told Spanish TV station Vamos Tuesday.

“It is better to be second than third, but if they consider that I have to be third I will accept.”

Nadal, who won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, lost to Djokovic in a five-set semifinal last year but he hadn’t gone beyond the fourth round in his five previous appearances.

“I don’t think it’s a good thing that Wimbledon is the only one with its own seeding formula,” he added.

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Serbia’s Djokovic, who is bidding for a fifth Wimbledon title, understands Nadal’s frustration.

“It’s their rules and you have to respect it although it’s a little bit surprising to be honest,” he told Reuters at the Boodles exhibition event in Buckinghamshire, England Tuesday.

“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.”

Last year’s losing finalist Kevin Anderson is seeded fourth.

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On the women’s side, seedings have followed world rankings with French Open champion and new world No.1 Ashleigh Barty top seed ahead of Australian Open and US Open winner Naomi Osaka.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic is third and Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands fourth.

Defending champion Angelique Kerber is seeded fifth, while Serena Williams, who won the last of her seven Wimbledon titles in 2016, is ranked 11th.