Rafael Nadal criticises Wimbledon's seeding system

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Rafael Nadal has questioned Wimbledon’s seeding system as the Spaniard looks set to be placed third when they are announced on Wednesday.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam of the year to operate with a different seeding structure, meaning world number two Nadal is likely to be behind both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

While the US, French and Australian Opens use the ATP and WTA rankings for their seed placings, Wimbledon’s take grass-court performances into account.

Defending champions Djokovic and world number three Federer are therefore expected to be above Nadal – who will begin the challenge of winning his fourth title at SW19 from next week.

“I don’t think it is a good thing that Wimbledon is the only one with its own seeding formula,” he told Spanish TV station Vamos.

“Wimbledon is the only tournament of the year that doesn’t follow the rankings.

“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.

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

Seeding third will leave Nadal in the same half of the draw as Djokovic, who beat him over five sets in last year’s semi-final en route to lifting the trophy.

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Andy Murray wins doubles at Queen’s on return from injury

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Andy Murray completed a remarkable winning return to action with victory in the doubles at Queen’s Club alongside Feliciano Lopez.

The Scot, who was close to retiring five months ago due to the hip injury which left him struggling to walk without pain, let alone play tennis, strolled off with the silverware at his first attempt back.

Murray and Lopez – the latter ‘fresh’ from winning the singles title less than an hour earlier – beat Britain’s Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram of the United States 7-6 (6) 5-7 10-5 after a third-set match tie-break.

Murray had insisted after their first-round victory that winning was not his number one priority this week. After all, it was only five months ago that the former world number one tearfully announced that the Australian Open could be his last tournament.

This, then, was supposed to be a tentative comeback, testing out the new metal hip after a career-saving operation and getting a few games under his belt, with a view to gradually building up to a return to singles. But the three-time grand slam champion clearly has not lost the appetite for a battle.

The fledgling partnership were 5-1 down in a first-set tie-break but fought back to level, and took it when Ram pushed a forehand wide.

The second set went the way of Salisbury and Ram after Murray dropped serve, and like so many matches during Murray’s career, it went to the wire.

Lopez, who must have been running on empty, somehow conjured up a series of stunning winners in the match tie-break to secure his own personal double and an unlikely, but welcome, victory for Murray.

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'Superhuman' Feliciano Lopez fuelling Andy Murray's fairytale comeback at Queen's

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Andy Murray‘s competitive return to action will conclude with a scarcely believable appearance in the final at Queen’s Club after partner Feliciano Lopez went above and beyond the call of duty.

Five months after undergoing career-saving hip surgery Murray, supposedly taking baby steps on the comeback trail, is on the verge of a title at the very first attempt.

But it was Spaniard Lopez who put in the superhuman effort, spending just under five hours on court.

The 37-year-old initially took a break from his role as Murray’s support act to reach the singles final after winning a three-setter against teenage sensation Felix Augur-Aliassime.

Lopez, champion here two years ago, had a 12-minute breather between that 6-7 (3) 6-3 6-4 victory before he and Murray resumed their quarter-final, suspended due to fading light on Friday night, against British duo Dan Evans and Ken Skupski.

Just 14 minutes, three games and a tie-break later, Murray and Lopez had secured their place in the semi-final, and then sat waiting courtside for their next opponents, reigning Fever-Tree champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers.

Kontinen and Peers presented a big step up in class but somehow Murray and Lopez triumphed again, sharing the first two sets before staggering over the line in a match tie-break, 10-7.

Having taken to the court for his singles match at 4pm, an exhausted Lopez said at 8.55pm: “It’s crazy. If someone had told me a week ago, I would say you’re crazy.

“To be here again in the finals in both singles and doubles, it’s tough to believe, no?”

Murray, who revealed he had a chat with former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho before his time on court, added: “He did brilliant, really. Not just in the way he played but in the way he carried himself at the end of the match and stuff. Big energy, getting pumped.

“It was cool for me to see that, you know? He’s been on the tour for, like, 20 years and I appreciate that he’s got a big final in singles to play tomorrow and it’s getting dark and late for the second day in a row.

“But he did really, really well. Yeah, it was a great, great effort from him.”

Murray and Lopez will meet Rajeev Ram and Britain’s Joe Salisbury in the final on Sunday.

Salisbury, 27, who grew up just down the road in Putney, said: “I have won two ATP 500 titles before but I think this would be extra, extra special and sort of even bigger because I’m playing basically at home.”

Before that, however, Lopez will face Gilles Simon in the singles final.

Simon himself has been something of a marathon man this week and he came through another gruelling three-setter against Daniil Medvedev.

The Frenchman has gone the distance in all of his four matches, including the longest in the history of Queen’s Club against Nicolas Mahut, a three hour 20 minute marathon, on Thursday.

“It was hard to recover and this one was tough with long rallies,” said Simon.

“We practice together and we knew it would be long. It was a tough match.

“It’s hard for me to hit through him but I was feeling the ball great today, the feeling is great in the shot, even if it’s not in the legs!”

Meanwhile, Murray’s proposed mixed doubles stint at Wimbledon is unlikely to feature Maria Sharapova despite her online offer.

“I think we played once together before and I don’t remember us playing particularly well together,” he said.

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