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

58 comments

  1. It seems like Wimbledon always favors Federer but treats Rafa unfairly with the outdated seeding system……..👎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!💪❤️

  2. 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 😬😬

      RAFAMAZING ROCKS

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. In an interview when he was 16 years old Rafa stated that his dream was to win Wimbledon. It’s usually considered the most prestigious slam. While some of the traditions are charming others are archaic and really should be brought into the 21st Century. The ATP should institute the same rules for all G.S. in regard to tie breaks, curfews and perhaps most importantly rankings.

    • The ATP has no jurisidiction over the slams. They are governed by the ITF and a lot of the rules are set by the host country’s federation, which is why they differ. Btw the “slams” were awarded to the four countries that won the early Davis Cups, going back to the amateur days. When the ATP was formed they set up a ranking points system and decided to allot maximum ranking points (2000 to the winner) to the prestigious slams.

  6. I don’t like the impression this post gives of Rafa sitting down to start complaining about Wimbledon’s seeding. Where is the entire interview? I have searched the French, Spanish, and English versions and they are all identical: highly unusual. And how did Movistar disseminate these excerpts?

    I agree with Rafa about Wimbledon’s disrespect for players’ rankings, “…Wimbledon does not respect the ranking they have earned.” But this is in contradiction to what he said in the previous paragraph, “If they all did it, it would seem more correct.” I think seeding should be based on rankings and give players the option of not playing Wimbledon without any penalty.

    And as setinthepast has pointed out, Wimbledon’s agreement with the ATP about the seeding formula predates Roger’s first Slam win. I don’t know where people get the idea it was put in place to favor him. Facts speak for themselves.

    Whatever happens I hope Rafa is physically and mentally strong for the battles he will face to reach the final, and WIN. He loves playing on grass as he has stated many times.

    As Rafa said in 2002, at the age of 16, when he played the Boys’ Singles at Wimby, “I want to be there as well” as he looked up at the champions gallery. Well, he is up there, two times, and headed for a third.

    Wishing Rafa the best.

    RAFA ROCKS

    • I see your point Margo. As usual the press headlines exaggerate Rafa’s attitude to the seedings. The Sun states “Rafael Nadal Blasts Wimbledon Chiefs….” CNN reports “Wimbledon Seedings Confirms Rafa Nadal’s Worst Fears.” My personal view is that Rafa is neither angry nor running scared. He is just all about fairness and wants the same standards for all the slams. The trouble with the ITF is that it wants to preserve tradition at the expense of being forward thinking and looking at the bigger picture.

      • Lorna, I certainly agree. While searching for the entire interview I came across those ridiculous headlines in English. Bunch of jerks.

        To be fair, there were French and Spanish headlines saying Rafa was upset about being “placed behind Roger” but the articles themselves were just a repeat of the excerpts posted here by RNF. I was hoping for the entire interview.

        The problem here re seeding is that it usually affects only the 8 top-ranked players which may help explain the lack of support. How the heck was Kevin Anderson seeded 4!

        RAFAMAZING ROCKS

    • The press love to make a drama out of everything! They’re always trying to make out that players dislike each other, and are complaining about everything, because it makes for good headlines. I guarantee that, within the first couple of days, they’ll be claiming that someone is “absolutely fuming” because they didn’t like the order of play or thought they should have been on a show court when they weren’t!

      • LOL, and that’s a FACT! It [getting to the source] was a learning curve for me.

        RAFAMAZING ROCKS

    • I hear you, Margo, and you have made some excellent points and provided some useful background information. Wrongly or rightly, I tend to give Rafa the benefit of the doubt when he speaks English. What he may have meant when he said if they (the other slams) all did it, it would seem more correct, was “understandable” rather than “correct.” But if not it brings up the question as to why have rankings at all if they cannot be honored equally at all the slams. If the French Open people had used the same rationale for seeding it’s players, it would seem that Federer, who had not even played the French in 3(?) years, should have been ranked lower then others (possibly Thiem). Very unfair, Wimbledon! It just makes Rafa’s Roland Garros win that much more impressive though.

      Another good point you made was about the quote itself, which maybe was taken out of context. In any case, you can bet that Federer isn’t complaining.

      VAmos, dear Rafaei!

      • DG, thanks so much for adding to the discussion and offering your thoughts and being nice about it.

        Yes, I understood Rafa but what I was getting at is Rafa wouldn’t find it unfair if other Slams did it, too [used a seeding formula]. But he feels to not follow the rankings is disrespectful. Contradictory, no? My apologies for not being clear.

        Totally agree with you about Rafa’s FO wins being even more impressive. And look how many clay tournaments there are. AND THEY STILL CAN’T BEAT HIM at his favorite Slam.

        Even Cilic said, after his match today vs Rafa, most players can play on all surfaces so Wimbledon should probably use the rankings. I don’t remember exactly what he said but that’s the gist of it. Cilic made that comment even after he too benefited from the formula.

        Roger said the only benefit he could get by being seeded #2 is he can “plan better.” I have no clue what that means.

        Djokovic said Rafa being seeded #3 “was strange”. He talked about Roger winning so many Wimbys but didn’t volunteer his #1 spot to Roger😂

        Neither Roger nor Djokovic said “Rafa should have been seeded #2.”

        RAFA ROCKS NO MATTER WHAT

  7. I forget when exactly it was – I think it was in the ’90s, when Pete Sampras won Wimbledon every year but couldn’t play on clay, and the French Open was being won by clay court specialists like Bruguera every year – but this was the reason the number of seeds was increased from 16 to 32, because people who were in the top 16 but had a poor record on grass were complaining. The system hasn’t been changed since, though.

  8. Rafa is right to speak out about the Wimbledon seeding process. The grass court season is by far the shortest season, popping up for just four weeks of the year and the majority of players earn most of their ranking points from their performance throughout the year on the other two surfaces.

    Either scrap the Wimbledon special formula completely or come up with a fair formula for each surface which takes into account the length of the hard court, clay and grass court seasons as well the performance of players on the respective surfaces during the previous year. I say don’t make life complicated. Get in line Wimbledon. Times have changed. Why be a law unto yourself and disrespect other grand slam tournaments? Scrap your precious formula!

  9. I think Wimbledon got its “special” seeding arrangement because 1) there are so few grass court tournaments and no grass masters and 2) grass used to be a much more “different” surface than it has been for the last 16 or 17 years. Players who do well on grass have ONE 500 points tournament and one 250 leading into Wimbledon. When the special seedings were put in place Queens was a 250 point tournament and there were only two weeks between RG and Wimbly. Any “serious” grass player did not play Eastborne since its the week before the slam. The grass seeding simply increases the value of ranking points won on grass for entry into Wimbledon.

    Compare that to clay where good clay courters have the Golden Swing in SA in Feb, followed by an April- May clay feast of 3 masters, a 500 and a couple of 250’s, plenty of chances to build ranking points on clay.

    The special rule was NOT put in place to “favor Federer”. It predates him.

    If all four major tournaments used special seeding it would hurt Rafa at the USO and AO since he gets a large share of his ranking points during the clay season. Rafa doesn’t seem to need the “help” at RG; he’s usually #1 or 2 and if he’s lower wins it anyway.

    Maybe grass is no longer *that* different and Wimbly should just use the regular rankings for seeding. I don’t know. Wimbledon is a dinosaur but it’s still the most prestigious tournament; it’s the one Rafa wanted most as a young player.

    • The Wimbledon seeding system is redundant nowadays. Look at the TOP 16 seeds vs the TOP sixteen ranked players, they’re effectively the same players!

      Why meddle with the rankings, to give say Anderson the no. 4 seed for example when clearly he’s not worthy of that on grass this season because he’s just back from injury, and was doing poorly in the grass warm up event?

      Why artificially lift his seeding to no.4 when clearly he’s not the number 4 player this season due to injury? If he’s not playing well, even seeded no.4 won’t help him! By so doing, Wimbledon has caused some imbalance in the draw, and whoever gets Anderson in his half may stand to gain; or whoever falls in Anderson’s quarter may stand to gain too!

    • It won’t hurt Rafa, because his clay points are so far ahead of the rest of the players, that it would help him regardless of seedings on other surfaces.

      Rafa is easily the top two or three guy on the HCs, with his strong clay points, it would more than make up for any shortages of HC seeding point differences.

      Fed’s Wimbledon seeding points are greatly helped by him playing Stuttgart and Halle last year (whilst Rafa didn’t even play any warm up event on grass). Had Fed played only Halle last year before Wimbledon, he would then have fewer seeding points than Rafa.

      Anyway, there’s no guarantee that Fed would make the final (or Rafa or Djoko for that matter). Fed didn’t look impressive at Halle; in BO5, if he is pushed to go the distance, he may suffer physically.

      There are dangerous players lurking around even for Fed – Tsitsipas, Cilic or some suddenly turned red hot players like Berrittini or Simon orTsonga.

  10. Wimbledon has always favored Federer but you are amazing Rafa get ready you can do it vamossssssssss champ we love you all the way fans for ever ❤️💪😘🎾👍❤️💪😘🎾👍❤️💪😘🎾👍❤️❤️💪😘🎾👍❤️💪😘🎾👍

      • Maybe it has to to do with him being a friend of the English Establishment.

      • Do you remember Novak or Rafa invited to the royal wedding or to a royal family household.Or for that matter to a fashion show by Anna Wintour.

      • Nobody is trying to favour Roger. The seedings system existed long before Roger was even playing. The system needs updating, but it is not intended to favour any one person.

  11. SWEETHEART LEFT A LENGTHY COMMENT SUPPORTING YOUR THINKING ABOUT AN HOUR AGO AND IT IS NOT POSTED…….WHEN TRIED AGAIN GOT A MESSAGE IT IS DUPLICATED YET IT IS NOT POSTED.

  12. Totally agree with Rafa! Tennis is more than gras! Take rest and be ready for monday. You can do it <3

  13. Kudos to Rafael Nadal for speaking up. Other players need to do the same. No doubt ticket brokers
    are smiling. If the monarchy has had to modernize their attitudes, why not Wimbledon? All the best to Rafael.👺💪👍🤛👏🍀❤️

  14. If I could see any GS live with Rafa playing his best it will not be Wimbledon .
    Great atmosphere at all other slams & fair too .
    Wimbledon sucks big time 😎😎😎

  15. The system is not designed to favour any one person or discriminate against any one person. It is designed to deal with a state of affairs which existed at a time when many players only performed well on one surface, which was the case for several decades, and has not been updated to reflect the fact that times have changed.

    • But, TIMES HAVE CHANGED!!!! What they are doing is wrong and favors Roger Federer. Unfair!!!!

      • Yes, that’s what I said – times have changed and the system needs updating. But it’s not designed to favour or disadvantage any one particular person – it’s a mathematical formula.

  16. Over rated Wimbledon !! Snobbish & arrogant !!
    Always snooty & irritating lot.
    Bogus chaps.
    Rafa should just go win it & beat RF & ND!!
    Rafa the magnificent
    Vamos champ

  17. Wimbledon has always favored Federer — they are pompous and prejudiced.., and their “surface” sucks!! People slip and fall on their stupid grass.. I hope Rafael plows through them all and wins big!!

  18. There’s an argument about this every year. I think the system was valid 25 years ago, when clay courts were much slower and grass courts much faster, and you had people like Sergi Bruguera and Thomas Muster who were world beaters on clay but could hardly win a match on grass, and people like Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic who were superb on grass but did nothing on clay. You’d get clay court specialists coming into Wimbledon in the top 20 on the back of a good clay court season, and then losing in the first round. That’s why Wimbledon has its own seedings system. But times have changed, and you don’t really get single-surface specialists any more, and it’s time the AELTC recognised that.

    • Exactly, just look at the top 16 seeds at Wimbledon, it’s practically the same guys as the top sixteen guys in the rankings with the exception of one (Basilashvillie) with Delpo out with injury.

      What’s the point of reshuffling within the top sixteen? It may end up being unfair and making the draw imbalance, I mean I’m not sure Anderson after coming back from injury, could do better than Thiem who’s ranked no. 4 in the actual atp rankings.

      The players these days can play well on any surface, that’s why the Wimbledon top 16 seedings are effectively the same top 16 guys in the rankings, just a little bit of reshuffling here and there that don’t serve any purpose.

  19. The ATP tour is about the whole year – ranking points are given for the entire year and a player’s ranking should be respected – the tour is not just about how you play on grass – has Rafa’s seeding ever been changed at the French open in-spite of winning so many tournaments before the French open and then the French open itself? To answer that in one word – NEVER. If he was no. 1 then he stayed there obviously – if he was lower, then he stayed there as well. Players work so hard through the clay court season as it is the toughest surface to play on – and Wimbledon is very disrespectful to the players – their actions are saying that they don’t care. It’s time the ATP woke up and standardized things – coz this happens every single year – they look very weak as an organization – and are allowing Wimbledon to walk all over them – WAKE UP ATP! Make sure that all tournaments show respect to your players for what they do each and every time they play any tournament in any part of the world.

  20. Not the first time Wimbledon has treated Rafa unfairly, last year’s semi-final being an example.

    The arrogance of Wimbledon is unparalleled. If Roland Garros had done the same, Federer wd not have been seeded as highly as he was this year, since he had not played on clay for so long, but RG respected the world rankings, and seeded accordingly.

    There has been a lot of talk about how the Grand Slam tournaments favour Federer, and incidents like this only lend weight to this belief.

  21. There should be unique seeding for all grandsalm ,which shound be on world ranking. I totally disagree for the seeding syastem adopted for wimbledon

    • Given the way Rafa is treated by Wimbledon, I hope he gets angry enough to beat them all to a pulp. Smug RF dares say that seeding does not matter. Rafa will meet him in s-final if they both get there. Rafa should remember he has 18 GS’s and he certainly should not accept the tricks of last year.

      Wamos Rafa, you are the best

      • KEEP STRIDING SWEETHEART AND KEEP YOUR PRECIOUS ENERGY ON YOUR BLESSED PRECIOUS NEXT POINT!!!!!!! NOTHING ELSE MATTERS JUST ENJOY AND GLIDE AND SLIDE AND REACH AND RETURN AND SERVE YOUR PRECIOUS SERVE.!!!!!!!!!!!!:) EVERYTHING THE FEW OLD FARTS DO OR SAY IS MEANINGLESS IN THE BIGGER PICTURE! WE LOVE YOU RAFA NADAL AND YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE FORCE IN TENNIS HISTORY!!!!!!!!!!:) ALL THE BS ONLY BRINGS YOU HIGHER REGARD AND SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER EARNED RESPECT !!!!!:) YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE GOAT RAFA NADAL AND MOST LOVED PASSIONATE TENNIS PLAYER EVER !!!!!!!!!!!:) AKEEP SMILING SWEETHEART!!!!!!!:) KEEP SLIDING AND GLIDING AND ENJOYING YOUR POWERFUL TENNIS COMMAND!!!!!!:)
        YOUR PRECIOUS BEAUTIFUL TENNIS AND BRILLIANT BLESSED ENERGY ARE ALL EXCEPTIONAL!!!!!!:) ALL ARE
        VERY SPECIAL AND WAY ABOVE ALL OTHER PLAYERS!!!!!!!:) WI…….WI……WI……AND CI…….CI…….CI…….SENIOR CHAMP!!!!!:) TENNIS FANS PAY ZERO ATTENTION TO THE PATHETIC OLD DISGRACEFUL ARISTOCRATIC INJUSTICE AND ALL THE BS ARISTOCRATIC PILE OF TURD……
        HAVE LOTS OF FUN AND HOLD YOUR PRECIOUS HEAD HIGH AND PROUD!!!!!!!:)
        VAMOS SWEETHEART KEEP GOING YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN YOUR GRACE, IN YOUR CLASSY TENNIS, AND IN YOUR BRILLIANT WORK ETHIC !!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU DEAR RAFA AND TRUST THIS WILL BE A MAGNIFICENT TOUR FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO AND ENJOY A BEAUTIFUL TIME!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS SWEETHEART ALL THE WAY!!!!!:) YOU ARE MADE OF VERY SPECIAL AND RARE QUALITIES AND YOU HAVE SHOWN US OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT YOUR PASSION AND DRIVE AND FIGHTING HEROICALLY IS SECOND MATURE TO WHO YOU ARE!!!!!!:) THAT IS WHY YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE TENNIS HERO MILLIONS OF GLOBAL FANS ADORE AND FOLLOW!!!!!!!!:)
        WHAT WE ALL LOVE ABOUT YOU IS YOUR PRECIOUS TENNIS INTELLIGENCE AND YOUR KNOWING THAT WITH YOUR POWERFUL STRENGTH AND YOUR PRECIOUS NEXT POINT IS WHERE TRUE MEANING IS …….AND NOTHING ELSE IS IMPORTANT!!!!!:) THAT’ S IT!!!!!!:) NO MORE NO LESS!!!!!:) VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!:) KEEP STRIDING SWEETHEART AND KNOWING ALL IS ON YOUR COURT!!!!!!!!!!:)
        WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART AND LOVE YOUR PRECIOUS CLASSY FEISTY TENNIS!!!!!:) THIS IS YOUR TIME SWEETHEART AND NO BS POLITICS CAN CHANGE YOUR PRECIOUS ENDURANCE…….SKILLS……FITNESS AND PRECIOUS GOAT STATUS!!!!!!!!!:) YOU ARE IT RAFA NADAL AND THE FEW OLD DISCRIMINATING BASTARDS FARTS DRINK THEIR SENSES AWAY ALL RED FACES AND STUFFED UP ANTISOCIAL WAYS…….THICK WITH POISON AND ILL ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE. THE GOOD NEWS BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET IT IS ALL OUT THERE…….ALL MEANINGLESS SO CALLED TOUR ORGANIZATION…..UNNECESSARY BS…..
        VAMOS DEAR RAFA…….NOTHING NEW….IT ONLY HELPS YOU GO FAR WITH THE IMMENSE RESPECT AND LOVE OF YOUR GLOBAL FANS!!!!!!!!!:)
        KEEP MOVING SWEETHEART BECAUSE AS YOU WELL KNOW….. NOTHING IS TRULY IN YOUR PRECIOUS WAY!!!!!! 🙂 IT GIVES YOU ALL THE RIGHT ENERGY TO STRIDE AND GLIDE AND REACH!!!!!!!:) YOUR PRECIOUS BLESSED FOCUS ALWAYS THERE WITH YOU AND YOUR GENIUS TENNIS IS ENJOYING EVERY SINGLE NEXT POINT!!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS SWEETHEART !!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU DEAR RAFA AND VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!:)
        ENJOY A BEAUTIFUL WEEK!!!!:) IT IS GOING TO BE A BRILLIANT BRIGHT TOUR FOR YOU!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!:)XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO. KEEP SMILING:)

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