Tennis legend and former world number one Roger Federer has been seeded above world number two Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon 2019 despite being a rank below the Spaniard in the ATP rankings. The Swiss legend who is ranked third according in the ATP list won his 10th Halle title just before coming to play in the oldest tennis tournament which starts from July 2.
Why is Federer seeded higher than Nadal?
In contrast with other Grand Slams, Wimbledon has a unique rule to prepare the seedings. The formula used is that the rankings of the top-32 players are rearranged. The rearrangement happens by taking in calculation the ATP ranking points on June 24, and the performances of the players on the grass court in the last two years. The organisers added the ATP points on June 24, 2019, with 100 percent of the points earned by the player in grass court tournaments in the last 12 months (from June 24, 2018) and also 75 percent of points earned from the best grass court tournament in the 12 months before June 24, 2018. Federer recently won the Halle title which helped him rise above Nadal in the rankings. This formula of seeding has been used by the organisers for a long time and it has been heavily condemned by senior and current players.
What are the consequences that Federer and Nadal will face?
Federer got a major boost as he got seeded second in the prestigious grass court tournament despite been ranked lower than Nadal. But the biggest advantage he got is that he will not have to face Nadal or world number one Novak Djokovic before the final. On the other hand, Nadal will have to face Djokovic in a potential semi-final clash if he reaches the semis.
Reactions of current and former tennis stars
The formula has been criticised by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and by former players like John McEnroe.
12-time French Open champion Nadal was quoted by Metro UK as saying, "The only thing that does not seem right to me about this story is that it is only Wimbledon that does it, only one tournament. It has not only happened to me, it has happened to other players. They do not respect the status that some players have earned throughout the season."
According to Djokovic in a report by Evening Standard, "The seeding is a little bit surprising. 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 as second seed."
John McEnroe told the Evening Standard that "Nadal should be seeded two at Wimbledon, period."
The fixtures for the big three will be out this Friday and it will be interesting to see how the tournament turns out to be.