LONDON, 19 JUNE: Rafael Nadal (in photo) was named fifth seed for Wimbledon on Wednesday, leaving his major title rivals to ponder meeting the 2008 and 2010 champion as early as the quarterfinals.
Nadal, the holder of 12 Grand Slam titles, and fresh from his record-breaking eighth French Open triumph in Paris, was seeded behind compatriot David Ferrer who takes the fourth seeding. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer take the top three places. Wimbledon uses recent grasscourt performances as well as the world rankings to seed players and Nadal was not promoted after he suffered a stunning second-round defeat to Lukas Rosol at the tournament in 2012. Ferrer, meanwhile, was a quarter-finalist last year, having already claimed the title at the ‘s-Hertogenbosch grasscourt event in the run-up to London. As a consequence, Nadal could face 2011 champion Djokovic, seven-time winner Federer or Murray, bidding to become Britain’s first men’s champion since Fred Perry in 1936, in the last-eight. "I’d sign up to be in the quarter-finals against Rafa if someone offered me that," Murray told the BBC. "You could say if I get through that match, then the semi-final might not be as tough but if you want to win the biggest tournaments you have to beat the best players in the world. "It doesn’t really matter where they are in the draw." In the women’s singles, world number one Serena Williams, the five-time champion, takes top seeding, followed by Victoria Azarenka, the Australian Open champion, with Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon winner, named the third seed.Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams has pulled out of this year’s tournament because of an ongoing lower back injury. Meanwhile, Leander Paes has been seeded fourth along with Radek Stepanek in the men’s doubles competition. Mahesh Bhupathi and Julian Knowle are seeded eighth while the Rohan Bopanna-Edouard Roger-Vasselin duo is 14th. In the women’s doubles category, Sania Mirza has been seeded sixth with Liezel Huber. agencies