Wimbledon's decision to seed Rafael Nadal at No 5 is a joke, says Brad Gilbert

 

The All England Club was branded a "joke" last night after its decision to seed Rafael Nadal fifth in the men's draw for Wimbledon.

The Spaniard is the French Open champion, has won more ranking points and prize money this year than any of his rivals and lost just two matches in his last nine tournaments, but will start Wimbledon next week behind his compatriot David Ferrer. In announcing the seedings the All England Club stuck to its established formula, which is based on the world rankings with a small adjustment to take into account grass-court results over the last two years.

Brad Gilbert, Andy Murray's former coach, said on Twitter that Nadal's seeding behind Ferrer was a "joke", while John McEnroe said it would be "absolutely wrong" if Nadal met [Novak] Djokovic, Murray or [Roger] Federer in the quarter-finals. "In my opinion there is no doubt [Nadal] should be in the top four," McEnroe said. "If he ran into Ferrer in the quarter-finals it would be the same old, same old because Ferrer is used to running into one of the big four in the last eight."

Wimbledon's policy on the women's seedings is more flexible – they reserve the right to change the seedings to produce "a balanced draw" – but the world rankings have been followed to the letter this year. Serena Williams, the world No 1, is seeded to meet Victoria Azarenka in the final. Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova pulled out of with an abdominal strain.

Nadal is paying the price for not earning any ranking points in the seven months that followed his shock defeat to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon last year. A knee injury kept the 27-year-old off the court until he began his comeback in February and, despite his spectacularly successful return, he is currently the world No 5 behind Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Ferrer. The potential consequences of Nadal's low seeding will be clear when the draw is made tomorrow. If all the top men live up to their seedings, Nadal will meet one of those four players ranked above him in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic and Murray, who will be in opposite halves of the draw and can meet only in the final, could face very different passages. One might have to dine at the top table, with matches against Nadal in the quarter-finals and Federer in the semis, while the other might enjoy a picnic against Juan Martin del Potro and then Ferrer.

While none of the players is complaining – "I'd sign up to be in the quarter-finals against Rafa tomorrow if someone offered me that," Murray said in a column for the BBC – others believe the All England Club should have made an exception in this case.

Wimbledon 2013: Top 10 seeds

Men's singles

1 Novak Djokovic (Serb)

2 Andy Murray (GB)

3 Roger Federer (Swit)

4 David Ferrer (Sp)

5 Rafael Nadal (Sp)

6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fr)

7 Tomas Berdych (Cz Rep)

8 Juan Martin del Potro (Arg)

9 Richard Gasquet (Fr)

10 Marin Cilic (Croa)

Women's singles

1 Serena Williams (US)

2 Victoria Azarenka (Bela)

3 Maria Sharapova (Rus)

4 Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol)

5 Sara Errani (It)

6 Li Na (Chin)

7 Angelique Kerber (Ger)

8 Petra Kvitova (Cz Rep)

9 Caroline Wozniacki (Den)

10 Maria Kirilenko (Rus)

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders