Tennis: Wimbledon pull rank on Muster

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Wimbledon's seedings committee has ensured that a balanced draw for the men's singles will be made today, although not every ego is guaranteed to be satisfied.

The world No 2, Thomas Muster, a clay-court specialist who has not won a match in four previous visits to the All England Club's lawns, the last of which was two years ago, is relegated to No 7.

This enables Goran Ivanisevic, twice a finalist, to be promoted to No 4 from his current ranking at No 7. The big-serving Croat is placed behind Pete Sampras, Boris Becker and Andre Agassi in the seedings.

Muster rose to No 1 on the ATP Tour world rankings in February on the strength of a phenomenal 1995 on the clay courts, which included his first Grand Slam title at the French Open, plus a surprising success on an indoor carpet court in Essen, where he defeated Sampras.

Stefan Edberg, who is making his farewell appearance at Wimbledon as part of his retirement season, is elevated to No 12 from his ranking of No 20. This acknowledges the 30-year-old Swede's improved form in recent weeks, and also recognises his contribution to the championships. The Swede contested three consecutive finals with Boris Becker, winning in 1988 and 1990.

On Sunday, Edberg was runner-up to Becker in the Stella Artois Championships at Queen's Club, London, defeating Muster in the semi-finals. This followed Edberg's encouraging performance in Paris, where he advanced to the fourth round of the French Open.

Although the women's singles generally has been seeded according to the WTA Tour rankings, the committee made a distinction between Steffi Graf and Monica Seles, who have been co-ranked No 1 since Seles returned after recovering from her stabbing in 1993.

Graf, the holder, who is aiming for her seventh Wimbledon singles title, is seeded No 1, and Seles, who is returning for the first time since losing to the German in the 1992 final, is No 2.

WIMBLEDON SEEDS: Men's singles: 1 P Sampras (US); 2 B Becker (Ger); 3 A Agassi (US); 4 G Ivanisevic (Croa); 5 Y Kafelnikov (Rus); 6 M Chang (US); 7 T Muster (Aut); 8 J Courier (US); 9 T Enqvist (Swe); 10 M Stich (Ger); 11 W Ferreira (SA); 12 S Edberg (Swe); 13 T Martin (US); 14 M Rosset (Swit); 15 A Boetsch (Fr); 16 C Pioline (Fr). Women's singles: 1 S Graf (Ger); 2 M Seles (US); 3 C Martinez (Sp); 4 A Sanchez Vicario (Sp); 5 A Huber (Ger); 6 J Novotna (Cz Rep); 7 C Rubin (US); 8 L A Davenport (SA); 9 M J Fernandez (SA);10 M Maleeva (Bul); 11 B Schultz-McCarthy (Neth); 12 K Date (Japan); 13 M Pierce (Fr); 14 A J Coetzer (SA); 15 I Spirlea (Rom); 16 M Hingis (Swit).

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