The world No 1 Rafael Nadal has been named Wimbledon top seed for the men's championship as he looks to retain his title. The man he beat in last year's epic final, Roger Federer was announced as the No 2 seed during yesterday's publication of the seedings, paving the way for the pair to meet in the final for a fourth successive year if they can both fight through their respective sides of the draws.
Wimbledon is the only grand slam tournament which does not stick strictly to the ATP and WTA ranking lists in deciding seedings. In allocating the slots the seeding's committee takes into account performances on grass over a two-year period. But in the men's competition the committee opted to stick to the world rankings with Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Roddick completing the top six.
Russia's Marat Safin was the main beneficiary after being bumped up from his world ranking of 23rd to 15th seed following his unexpected run to the semi-finals 12 months ago. But in the women's seedings the former champion Maria Sharapova has also been boosted up to 24th seed despite being ranked 59th. The Russian returned to the tour last month after a nine-month layoff with a shoulder injury and she has been rewarded for her impressive record at the All England Club, where she won in 2004.
The women's top 16 seedings have stuck rigidly to the world rankings with Dinara Safina, Serena Williams and last year's champion Venus Williams heading the field. Wimbledon begins on Monday and the draw for both the men's and women's competitions takes place tomorrow. @Email:email@example.com