I never really understood the big deal about seeding, but Wimbledon’s own quirky way of doing things highlights its importance.
It’s different for the ATP and WTA tours. For the men, the seeding is done by a “transparent” formula that takes current ranking and grass court results for the past two years into account. Only the top 32 players in the world are considered for seeding, but then rearranged to suit the system. Here’s the summary from Wimby’s website:
The seeds are the top 32 players on the ATP Entry System Position (ESP), BUT then rearranged on a surface-based system. A seeding Committee is not required for the Gentlemen’s Singles since the seeding order is determined using an objective and transparent system to reflect more accurately an individual player’s grass court achievements: The formula is:
· Take ESP points at 16 June 2008
· Add 100% points earned for all grass court tournament in the past 12 months
· Add 75% points earned for best grass court tournament in the 12 months before that.
The top 8 are
8. Gasquet (he made the semis last year)
There are no huge surprises here, but there are some interesting subtleties at play within the top 32. Here is the explanation from tennis.com:
The top four seeds cannot face each other until the semifinals and the top eight cannot face each other till the quarterfinals. Players from No. 9 to No. 16 face the Top 8 in the fourth round, and the players ranked from No. 17 to No 24 face No.s 9-16 in the third round. Players from No. 25 to No. 32 face the Top 8 in the third round.
Players who have been promoted significantly from their rankings include Richard Gasquet (into the Top 8 from No. 9), Marcos Baghdatis (No. 10 from No. 25), Tomas Berdych (No. 11 from No. 19), and fomer champion Lleyton Hewitt (No. 19 from No. 27).
Players who have dropped significantly include James Blake (No. 9 from No. 8) and Nicolas Almagro (No. 20 from No. 12). Downward movers whose seeding level will not be affected include Andy Murray (No. 12 from No. 11), Juan Carlos Ferrero (No. 23 from No. 21), and Nicolas Kiefer (No. 33 from No. 27).
This means that Roddick could meet Fed, Nadal or Djoky in the quarters and that Blake could meet up with one of the terrifying trio as early as the fourth round. Oh, and is it any surprise that Andy Murray is grumbling about his seeding, as he fancies himself one of the best grass courters in the world? He didn’t play Wimby last year because of injury, and his results have been less that stellar this year, so really, what does he expect? Click here for the story. Grass court lover Radek Stepanek, seeded 16, sustained a rib injury at the Nottingham tournament this week and may be out for Wimbledon. Dimitri Tursunov, seeded 25, went off the deep end at Nottingham, walking out of his doubles match after disputing a line call! He was then defaulted out of his singles match. Burn out, anyone? Click here for more. Chela, Moya and Monaco (whaa!) have all pulled out of Wimby.
At Wimbledon, the WTA is not subject to a “transparent” formula. Seedings go by the rankings most of the time, but a Committee can make adjustments based on their opinions of players’ grass court prowess.
This year no changes were made, and the top 8 are:
6. Serena Williams
7. Venus Williams
8. Anna Chakvetadze
I’m guessing Wimbledon doesn’t use the formula for the women because so many of the top women skip the grass court tune ups, therefore skewing that part of the formula.
The draw comes out in 2 days, so much of this speculation will be mute. But check out the seedings here.