Nadal, Safina Top Seeds at Wimbledon
by Staff | June 17th, 2009, 9:14 am

Seedings for the upcoming 2009 Wimbledon Championships were announced earlier Wednesday. Defending champion Rafael Nadal was named the top seed for the men’s field while current World No. 1, Dinara Safina, is the top seed for the women. ADHEREL

Despite using a formula to determine the men’s seedings, the Top 6 fell according to current ATP Rankings with Nadal followed by Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Roddick. The highest change was No. 7 ranked Gilles Simon and No. 8 Fernando Verdasco swapping positions. Marin Cilic also was a beneficiary moving up two spots from his ranking of No. 13 to a No. 11 seeding. Wimbledon 2008 semifinalist Marat Safin also earned a lift from No. 23 ranking to a 15 seed.

Former champion Maria Sharapova was the biggest mover for the women climbing from her ranking of 59 to a seeding of 24, meaning No. 32-ranked Alona Bondarenko was left off the seeding list.

The official draws will be released on Friday. The top half men are expected to compete on Monday including Nadal while the women’s top half led by Safina will open up on Tuesday. Defending ladies champion Venus Williams is the no. 3 seed.

Nadal, who has been bothered by tendonitis in both knees leaving his grass season in flux, arrived in Wimbledon yesterday and according to his website went through a “not so intense” workout for three hours on grass courts.

Top 16 seeds for both men and women:
Men 1. Rafael Nadal, Spain 2. Roger Federer Switzerland 3. Andy Murray, Britain 4. Novak Djokovic, Serbia 5. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina 6. Andy Roddick, U.S. 7. Fernando Verdasco, Spain 8. Gilles Simon, France 9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France 10. Fernando Gonzalez, Chile 11. Marin Cilic, Croatia 12. Nikolay Davydenko, Russia 13. Robin Soderling, Sweden 14. Gael Monfils, France 15. Marat Safin, Russia 16. Tommy Robredo, Spain

Women 1. Dinara Safina, Russia 2. Serena Williams, U.S. 3. Venus Williams, U.S. 4. Elena Dementieva, Russia 5. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia 6. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia 7. Vera Zvonareva, Russia 8. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus 9. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark 10. Nadia Petrova, Russia 11. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland 12. Marion Bartoli, France 13. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia 14. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia 15. Flavia Pennetta, Italy 16. Zheng Jie, China

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50 Comments for Nadal, Safina Top Seeds at Wimbledon

Peka Says:

I bet his knees will be just fine on Monday :D

Sad Smiles Says:

Peka I agree with you.
I think its too BIG a tournament for him not to play. But it will be interesting to see how his form will be. This time he is coming after a HUGE loss and being a defending champ focus will be on Nadal.I don’t think we will see Nadal/Federer final . So the question comes up which one is more suspectible to loose before the finals. Mypick would be Nadal. I think this year he will not make the Finals. He has proved me wrong last year as well. Time will tell…enjoy the Wimby.

Kimo Says:

I used to be in favor of special seeding at Wimbledon considering that the grass court season is too short and hence doesn’t have much effect on rankings, but the Women’s seedings are just absurd!

Safina no.1? What for? I can’t think of anything special that she’s done on grass. Serena over Venus? ridiculous!

Seeding’s on the Men’s side are slightly better, but not good either. Monfils no.14 on grass?? If he makes it to the round of 16 then I don’t know anything about tennis.

sonic Says:

Seeding is based on a forumla, it is not biased or subjective.

I think you get all the points you won on grass last year (all grass matches, not just Wimbledon) added to your total points, and then you 50% of all the grass points you won 2 years ago added as well. Based on that a new ranking is formed for seeding purposes.

I like it, althou i think the first 32 players should have been seeded as a must. So A. Bondarenko losing a seeding position to Sharapova is what i don’t agree with.

I like tennis bullies Says:

federer will be gifted another mug draw and wont face a top ten player in the final

Charlzz Says:

@sonic With 32 seeds, I don’t think it matters that much if Bondarenko gets a seeding or not. Sure, she may have the misfortune of playing a top seed early, but as the lowest seed, she might have had the same problem by the 3rd round. And her chances of upsetting a high seed in the first round are much better.

I might agree that this would be a problem if there were just 16 seeds. As it is, seeds 16-32 are usually weak. And tennis has generally only protected the best players. Be thankful they aren’t like the NBA or college basketball where they do full seeding and always try to give the number 1 seed the easiest path to the final (not that they succeed).

huh Says:

It’s so much stupidity to put Serena over Venus ! What’s Serena before Venus in Wimbledon? I don’t get it, just hate it!

Voicemale1 Says:

Peka, Sad Smailes:

ESPN has an interview on their website with their in-house Physical Therapist who talked at length about Nadal’s tendinitis. The only info on his condition they had to use as a basis for the interview was what Nadal had disclosed on his website, which was extensive.

The therapist said tendinitis is best treated with rest, which is very effective – in addition to the anti-inflammatory medication. The condition comes from physical exertion itself, and compounded in Nadal’s case by his schedule and his game. Her concern was that he hasn’t had an ample amount of time to recover from any inflammation he incurred in Paris. More of a concern to her was Nadal’s comment that he’d been playing with this same pain for some time and he couldn’t “go on this way”, which would make it chronic. In rare cases, chronic tendinitis is dealt with through surgery. In any event, Nadal seems to be at a crossroads in his career.

It used to be Nadal would basically go through the motions in the first three months of the year, getting some match play under him to set him up for his customary dominant run through the clay season. This year is much different. He won The Australian Open, Won Indian Wells, Final of Rotterdam and played two Davis Cup Matches all prior to the clay season starting. In 2009, he accomplished a lot more going into Monte Carlo than he had in previous years. And he’s paying the price for it now. His tank is emptier than it’s been in the past. In fact, you could probably say the extreme nature of his efforts in Australia (Semis & Final), IW (which finished him in Miami) and especially Madrid have squeezed the lemon dry at this point.

Knees or not, he’s extremely unlikely to win Wimbledon. So why he’s there is sort of a mystery. He’s probably not physically healthy, definitely exhausted, and burned out mentally. He might be trying just to go as far as he can in this one to protect as many of his ranking points as possible. It’s clear his early success in the year penalized him physically and therefore mentally when the clay season rolled around. Assuming he can successfully deal with the tendinitis, he has a crisis decision to make: does he keep trying to succeed on hard courts throughout the year, or does he go back to phoning it most of the year and then amp it up from clay to grass? If he goes back to the latter option, one consequence will be inescapable: he won’t be able to sustain his position as World #1 with that narrow a focus.

Shan Says:

Nadal would definitely benefit by thinking longer term but I imagine how hard it must be at his level to say “ok, I’m not going to play and I’ll give up my #1 ranking that I fought so hard for years to get so that I can have a healthier career long term”. For these guys being #1 is everything to them

huh Says:

Oh I like tennis bullies, tell me whom you really like?
I think you’re actually a Fedfan, who by pretending to be anti-Fed and slamming him, want people here to write in his defense so that you hear his 1000 praises. Your time’s up clever dude! ;-)

RZ Says:

I hope Nadal is healthy to play. It would be a shame if he couldn’t defend his title after how hard he had to work to get it.

Kimo, FYI, it was only a few years ago that Monfils won the junior title at Wimbledon.

RZ Says:

I’m betting that Serena’s two slams are what are keeping her ahead of Venus in the Wimbledon seeding. I was surprised that Safina was the #1 seed, though.

I had thought that you had to be in the top 32 to be seeded, but I guess not.

sensationalsafin Says:

Nadal didn’t face a top 10 player in his first FO final either. In fact, he only faced 1 player in the top 10, Federer. From 06-08, he faced 2 top 10ers in each run, just as Federer did this year. So I don’t understand the complaint.

Kimmi Says:

I think its good for Sharapova to get a 24 seeding. She is lucky wimbles is doing the special seeding procedure, It would be ridiculous for her to meet a top player like Venus in the 1st round.

sonic Says:

Well i think it’a matter of principles. If you earned a seeding, then onone should be able to take it away from you. That was the first rule in Wimbleodn when they started making seeding changes, like noone oculd go higher more than 5 places and top32 HAD to be seeded.

As for Nadal, if he has to rest and miss something, it’s best for his knees to miss the American hardcourt season, isn’t it? COncrete is most brutal to the knees, and he doesn’t have much chances at the US Open as it is the one slam that is still pretty fast. He’s likely to lose no1 raking at some point prior to US Open anyway, what with Olympics ocming off and Fed Having 2 masters where he defends nothing. At least with a good showing at WImbledon Nadal will have held no1 for a little over a year (i think).

Anyway, the grass is most comfortable for his kness, and also on his second best surface.

It does look like his superman days, where he went from one grueling tournament to another and won them all, are over.

jane Says:

Interesting that no one, or hardly anyone, considered Nadal a favorite for the Australian title and yet he won it. Similarly, while Federer might have been one of the top three favorites at the French, pretty much everyone thought Nadal would win it, and yet, Federer did.

So what does this indicate about the predictions for Wimbledon? Will the predictors continue to be wrong? Most people seem to be backing Federer with Murray as second favorite.

I wonder if they’ll get it right this time or if we’ll see a pattern emerge this year.

vared Says:

I see the frenzy and hype and lots of people picking Murray. They’ve even got him dressed in Mr. Rogers-like duds. They have a new song for him they will play everyday on Murray mountain sort of like “Rocky.” They hyped him for AO this year too. I want Novak or Roddick to win this and Rafa to win USO for his career slam. Probably none of these will happen.

huh Says:

skeezerweezer, I’ve something to say to you and that is, it’s not me but you who’re delusional and a blind person may be too. Otherwise you’d have never accused me of saying that Rafa’s one of the greatest player of all times already. It was Mohona who said this and I rather countered his argument but thanks to your delusion/delirium/ whatever @$$ reasons you may have, you said that I called Rafa as one of the greatest player of all times. Be real and don’t be too much of a fantasiser. Beware of making baseless allegations. And my evidence to back up my claim:

Kimmi Says:

Jane, I agree. The predications have been way off this year. Even the FO where Nadal was an overwhelming favorite never happened. But one thing have been the same for a while’s been either Nadal or Federer in the past 5 slams. So will it still be a Nadal or federer trophy? Fed had his French, I am hoping for Murray this time. But I would not be surprised if it is a Nadal or Federer again. Let the best man win.

Kimmi Says:

I think the bookies have Murray 2nd favorite to win wimbledon because no one is quite sure about Nadal injury. I believe if Nadal plays solid in the first few rounds those odds are likely to change. For me Nadal has been very solid in GS especially FO and Wimbledon. I think Murray should be a third favourite behind Nadal.

Colin Says:

Vared, the various “Theys” you mention are not necessarily the same people. What the tabloid press says (not just on tennis – on any damn thing!) is very seldom worth discussing. The bookies are different in that they are not swayed by sentiment. If it looks as if they’ll lose money, they’ll change the odds as they go along. Of course the important thing is nobody, not one of us here, nobody on Earth, can predict the future. Most tennis fans, before the French Open, would have bet their house on Rafa winning it, but it didn’t happen.
By the way, who is Mr Rogers?

jane Says:


LOL Mr. Rogers is the host of one of the strangest (imo) children’s shows. I think he’s American? Anyhow, he’s notorious for his cardigans and conservative dress; he changes out of his suit jacket and dress shoes into a cardigan and sneakers, all while singing, at the beginning of each show. Last year at Wimbledon the American announcers were making jokes about Federer’s “Mr. Rogers cardigan”.

This was Fed last year in his “cardigan” look!

This is Murray in the new line of Fed Perry clothes:

This is Mr. Rogers:

Mina Says:

Mr. Rogers was a children’s television show host who had a penchant for wearing cardigans – hence, many said that Federer looked like Mr. Rogers last year in his Wimby outfit.

jane Says:

Staff I posted a link as well, like Mina, with Mr. Rogers, Roger and Murray images – but it doesn’t seem to be showing up. I think the images would help clarify Colin’s question so could you please give my post the go ahead? Cheers.

jane Says:

Here’s a video of Nadal, made by … Vogue. Yep, you heard it right.

Von Says:

jane: I must have a serious problems with foreign accents, but I didn’t understand 99 percent of what Nadal talked about in that Vogue shoot. Admittedly, I’m generally terrible with accents due to my impatience, but he’s very difficult to understand when he speaks.

Von Says:

“..hence, many said that Federer looked like Mr. Rogers last year in his Wimby outfit.”

That was a Roddick original, but who else could come up with such a glib answer.

jane Says:

That’s right Von – it was Roddick who came up with “Mr. Roger’s cardigan” LOL. Nadal is a bit tough to understand in some of that video, but I caught some of it. Surprising that he thinks kids should just play tennis and not worry about thinking about whether or not to “turn pro” etc until they’re 14, esp. since he turned pro so young.

tennismonger Says:

I had no such problems understanding Rafa. But then my Dad is from Italy. I didn’t even know he had an accent until I was a teenager & my friends broke it to me – LOL!

Now Sienna Miller on the other hand…what the hell was she going on about!!!??
But getting back to the tennis, I have to say I’m a touch disappointed in the All England Club in regards to the seedings – here was their chance to truly distinguish themselves from the other slams & what do they do? After his French flameout, Rafa is very unlikely to defend IMO. The book is now officially in print on how to beat him & I’m guessing some eager young basher could very well step up to the plate before week 2 even. Fed comes in w/HUGE momentum & should have gotten the nod as top seed.

Like a lot of you, Roddick is my dark horse for the fortnight – was it Woody Allen who said 99% of life is just showing up…? Keep on showing up, ARod!

Von Says:

jane: “Surprising that he thinks kids should just play tennis and not worry about thinking about whether or not to “turn pro” etc until they’re 14, esp. since he turned pro so young.”

Have you ear heard of the saying: “Don’t do what I do, but do what I tell you to do.”? I saw a clip on the Tennis channel where he said he owes everything to uncle toni ever since he was 3. of coure, it was an english sub-title, or else, I’d be lost as to what he said.

tennismonger: I’m sorry, but I’m absolutely terrible when it comes to listening to people whose speech is heavily accented. I couldn’t understand that video, except a couple of words here and there.

No, No, no, please don’t make Roddick the dark horse.

Ezorra Says:

I think this is what Nadal wants – been underrated. He always likes to be underrated, so that people will start to overlook him… and then bammm – he wins the title.

I don’t know – maybe…

RZ Says:

tennismonger, my understanding is that the All England club uses a specific formula for their seedings. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it takes into account success on grass courts (over two years, I think), success in grand slam tournaments, and current ranking (and possibly other factors). It is all mathematical. So while it is surprising to see Safina seeded #1, that’s what she got according to the numbers. I’d love to see the actual formula and how the numbers all worked out.

Kimmi Says:

Jane, Aleksandra Wozniak is in the semi of Eastbourne, she has been very consistent recently. Round of 16 at the FO and now here. She beat Kuznetsova on her 1st round I think. She will play next Caroline Wozniacki in the semi. I just thought of you when I saw the results. Great results from her.

RZ Says:

I looked up the seeding formula. You can find it at the end of this PDF:

The formula applies to the men, not to the women. Interesting. I’m wondering if Serena Williams hadn’t made that statement about being the real #1 and then promptly lost her next 3 matches while Dinara Safina was winning titles and making finals, if the committee would have seeded her and Venus higher.

Kimmi Says:

RZ, thanks for the formula. I have always wondered. It’s interesting to know also it does not apply to women seeding. Sharapova is seeded 24 at Wimbledon while her entry ranking is 59, so her seeding must have been only due to “the opinion of the committee”.

I read something interesting about men’s seeding on the timesonline that;

“There was a strong case for Federer to be named top seed as Wimbledon officials employ a unique seeding system which takes into account previous results at the grasscourt championships and the Swiss has contested the last six finals.”

This is very strange. Nadal was a winner last year and a runner up before that; federer was a runner up last year and a winner before that… They both won the warm up tournaments last year and federer did not play in 2007. From their formula Nadal would still be # 1 seed, I cannot understand why they would want to do this….does not make any sense. Nadal deserve to be # 1 seed and I am glad they stuck to the entry ranking.

MMT Says:

I think the Wimbledon seeding is silly – they should leave it at the entry ranking system. Let the players earn their seeding with their results, and not the opinion of the committee. This is just begging for the appearance of favoritism and the return of the dreaded…on second thought, nope. I’m not even going to say it.

Kimmi Says:

MMT, Now that I understand how it’s done, it does look silly. If they use this special formula for everybody then it should be OK as it should balance out thru all 32 seeds, but it looks like there is a lot of “committee opinion” going on….. and I agree it’s begging for some favoritism.

jane Says:

Kimmi, both Wozniak AND Dancevic (who ousted Nalbandian from Wimbledon last year) are in the Eastborne semis. How nice for Canadian tennis.

Colin Says:

As I type this, late Thursday evening UK time, it’s not looking good for Nadal. He lost an exhibition to Hewitt, and reports say he seemed very frustrated and was moving badly. Apparently he plays another exhibition Friday, and will then decide. I’ve been unable to understand the over-confident predictions that he’ll be fine. If he does play, the knees could break down early.

Shan Says:

Guys GUYS of all the talk where does Djokenfitch fit into the picture? After all Djokenfitch won the 2008 AO!!!

Shan Says:

Good to see some Canucks making it deep at Eastbourne right now!!! GOOOOOO CANADA!!!

tennismonger Says:

RZ: Awwright, I’ll go w/the formula & give ’em the benefit of the doubt – It’s just bizarre to imagine Fed as #2 seed on the grass there esp. in light of recent events. Grass is just such a flaky surface, it makes sense to me to juggle the seedings a bit just like they do @ Roland Garros and….oh wait, never mind.

Von: Don’t mean to jinx Roddick it’s just that the book on him has been out so long you can get it @ airports in paperback!! Federer & Murray routinely make a monkey out of him – kinda like when Sampras dismantled him @ US Open ’02 – I’ll always remember Boris Becker’s strategic advice when asked what Andy should do – “Leave the stadium…”

That said, iF the ankle’s OK, he’s a lock for week 2 – then w/a little Soderlingesque play, who knows?

Speaking of which, Soderling pulled more of a vanishing act than Fed & Nadal put together after RO – will he be the stealth player @ Wimby too?

Just thinking out loud here…

Mina Says:

I think the Sharapova seeding at #24 is fair. If they had kept her ranked at 59, she could have potentially met one of the top 4 seeds as early as the 2nd round. That would have a been a bit of a disaster.

It seems a bit strange to me that Safina is the #1 seed given that her grass results have not been that impressive. And seeing Serena seeded higher than Venus on grass is a little strange given Venus’ amazing results at Wimby.

I’m perfectly fine with seeding Nadal at #1 – he’s had amazing results on grass the past few seasons and obviously, is the #1 ranked player right now.

I agree, though, that this system seems quite arbitrary and leaves so much room for bias. The grass season is so short it makes it difficult for grass results to be weighted so heavily to determine seeding.

Mina Says:

On Nadal’s website he’s announced he’ll be holding a press conference after his match against Wawrinka at the Hurlingham Club exo. I assume this is to announce his decision about Wimbledon.

June 19, 2009

Rafa played an exhibition match yesterday afternnon against Lleyton Hewitt at the Hurlingham Club where he lost 6-4 6-3 and will play against Stanislas Wawrinka today at around 2:30pm (local time).

“I love to play at the Hurlingham Club. Today’s match was a real test, as close to reality as it could get. I will come back and play again and then make my decision about playing at Wimbledon or not,” said Rafa after the match.

After the encounter, Rafa will hold a press conference.

Many thanks.”

Tennisfan Says:

Nadal losing the exhibition against Hewitt ( who is just a shadow of his former self) is not a good sign for Nadal fans. I don’t know how easily you fix a knee problem, but the hard court season is unlikely to help. A big loss to tennis if this is so.

I wonder if Murray can live up to the hype. His willing participation in it (ie. fashion show, etc.) could backfire.

Shan Says:

Yah, losing to Hewitt definitely means that either Nadal is still a bit injured or Hewitt played the match of his life :D

huh Says:

Whoever’s closely and truly observed Hewitt in his prime can clearly understand that he needn’t play a match of his life on grass if he’s to beat an injured Rafa in a non slam. Hewitt at his best can beat even an in-form Rafa on grass in a GS/elsewhere.

huh Says:

People mustn’t get so carried away by the present as to entirely forget the class and exploits of the past heroes like Safin/Hewitt.
After all I don’t see any reason to give more respect to/speak more highly of Djoko/Murray in comparison to Hewitt/Safin.

huh Says:

We can heap more praises on the Djoko- Murray duo only after they’ve proven themselves to be better than the Hewit-Safin combo by exceeding them in no. of GS. Until then, there should be no question of declaring them as better and/or more

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