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Rafael Nadal is world No. 2 but Wimbledon No. 3. Say what? - The Washington Post

Rafael Nadal, despite being ranked second in the world, is seeded third at Wimbledon, one spot behind Roger Federer, the world's No. 3 player and the man he beat in the French Open. (Michel Euler/Associated Press)

By Cindy Boren

Cindy Boren

Reporter covering sports, with an emphasis on politics and national stories

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June 26 at 12:15 PM

The seedings for Wimbledon went just as Rafael Nadal expected.

The 12-time French Open champion, No. 2 in the world rankings, has been seeded third behind Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked player and the top seed, and Roger Federer, the world’s No. 3 player and the tournament’s second seed.

“It doesn’t seem right,” Nadal admitted in an interview with Spain’s Vamos TV station (via the BBC).

Wimbledon is the only one of tennis’ four major tournaments that does not always seed players according to world rankings. Instead, it takes into account a player’s results on grass, and Nadal has struggled on the grass at Wimbledon, where Federer has won the championship eight times.

“It’s their choice. Either way, being second or third seed, I have to play at the best level to aspire to the things I aspire to,” Nadal said Tuesday, on the eve of the seedings. “It is better to be second than third, but if they consider that I have to be third I will accept.”

That means Nadal, a clay-court master who won at Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, would face Djokovic, to whom he lost in a five-set semifinal at Wimbledon last year. In five previous appearances, he had not advanced past the fourth round. Federer would conceivably face Kevin Anderson, the fourth seed and eighth-ranked player in the world, to get to the final.

Djokovic, Wimbledon’s five-time champion, was diplomatic about the process. “It’s their rules and you have to respect it, although it’s a little bit surprising to be honest,” he told Reuters Tuesday. “Roger is the greatest of all time and has won the most Wimbledon titles of any player in history, and if any player deserves it, it’s him.

“But at the same time it’s Nadal that he is taking over [replacing] the second seed, so it’s surprising, to be honest.”

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