Here’s why Rafael Nadal is unhappy with Wimbledon seeding

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(AFP) – Rafael Nadal has complained about Wimbledon’s seeding system after the Spaniard was placed at number three, behind Roger Federer, for next week’s grand slam in London.

The other three major tournaments all match their seeding to the official world rankings but Wimbledon uses its own formula to dictate the order, combining ranking points with form in grass-court competitions.

It means Rafa will be seeded three and Federer two at the All England Club this year, despite their positions being the reverse in the rankings list.

“Wimbledon is the only tournament of the year that does it like this,” Rafa told Spanish television channel Movistar on Monday night.

“Obviously it would be better to be two than three but if they think I have to be three I will accept three and fight to win the matches I have to win.

“Having said that, the only thing that doesn’t seem right about this issue is that it is only Wimbledon that does it. If they all did it, it would seem more correct.

“It’s not only about my particular case. 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.

“And for this reason they get more complicated draws.”

Federer and top seed Novak Djokovic will be at opposite ends of the Wimbledon draw, separated until the final, but Rafa is guaranteed to have either Federer or Djokovic in his half, and could meet them in the semis.

“For me personally, it means if I am three, to get to the final, Djokovic or Federer will be in my half,” Rafa added.

“But that can only happen in the semi-finals and to get there I have to win five matches. Today I’m far away.”

Source: AFP


  1. Margo, your last comment cracked me up: (Neither Roger nor Djokovic said “Rafa should have been seeded #2”). They benefit from this seeding, obviously. Roger can be all about fairness (in a good way) but maybe not so much when unfairness benefits him.

    • DG, I couldn’t help it😂 Their comments were so blatantly circumspect. Neither voiced support for Rafa, world No. 2, and that really irks me. Hhmpppff!!!

  2. Rafa shouldn’t complain about his seeding. Roger is 8 time champion there. On that alone he should be top seed. It’s the other slams that need to follow Wimbledon’s lead. How quickly he forgot he was seeded 5th at the 2013 French and had to face Cheatervic in the SFs when Clearly Rafa should have been seeded 1 and avoided Cheatervic til the finals. We got an anticlimactic final because the stupid French Open follows the world ranking and didn’t account for Rafa being the king of clay or that he was lower ranked because of injury and not Because he was playing poorly.

    • I do not understand the logic of justification of RF preceding Rafa because he has won 8 Wimbledon titles. To be coherent with that logic, would RF not have to also overtake world number 1 aka Djokovic and be seeded 1 thereby completely ignoring ATP ranking? As it is only Rafa has been downgraded and to my knowledge the only person who has outright defended Wimbledon’s favouritism is McEnroe.
      What a marvellous scenario it would be if RF were to be elimineted before semi-final and Rafa were to win his 3rd Wimbledon title.
      Wamos Rafa, you are the best.

      • Roger was not moved up a spot into Rafa’s second seed position because he won 8 Wimby titles. Wimby’s seeding formula can be found on its website or Wikipedia.

      • Dominic Thiem had his seeding spot given to K Anderson.

        Thiem is world #4 but seeded #5, Anderson is world #8 but seeded #4.


  3. Margo,
    Djokovic actually lost in straight sets to Shapovalov. Kachanov defeated Tsitsipas in three sets.

  4. It seems like Wimbledon always favors Federer but treats Rafa unfairly with the outdated seeding system……..👎

    I had the honor watching Rafa in person winning the French Open and the US Open already. I have also booked my tickets and hotel to cheer him on at the Australian Open next year but I have no plans to go to Wimbledon. I will only support Rafa in front of my TV. Vamos Rafa!💪❤️

  5. Margo, It is always educational reading your posts. Thanks for that especially from fans like me who are more in the casual category. I enjoy watching but am not up to speed on the sometimes arcane ins and outs of tennis. Happy to learn from more knowledgeable people.

    • RR thank you. However you overrate me but I’ll take the compliment. What bothers me is that any and all articles explaining the Wimby seeding formula simply say “It was an agreement between the ATP and Wimbledon.” Does that mean Wimby needed the blesssing of the ATP to deviate from the rankings or it wouldn’t happen? Still scratching my head 😬😬


  6. Thanks for refreshing my memory regarding the ITF being the governing body. Regardless of who it is there should be consistency at all the slams be to be fair to both players and fans who are the two most important components of the sport.

    • According to the ATP Tour website it is the governing body for men’s professional tennis except for Slams. But it was the ATP that agreed to Wimbledon’s seeding formula. If they want to, they could change seeding if players are on board also.

      The ATP boycotted Wimbledon once already: they can do it again.

  7. Why has Wimbledon got to be different from all the other tour venues when Rafa no.2in the world reduced to 3rd place, because they are snobs 😡

  8. Rafa just lost in straight sets to Cilic at Hurlingham 6-3,6-3. It will be enlightening to hear his comments as to how he was feeling physically. This is simply a warmup and as we remember from last year doesn’t actually predict how he will do during the upcoming fortnight.

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