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Djokovic Wimbledon Top Seed as No. 1 Nadal Relegated

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon Top Seed
Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return to Spain's Rafael Nadal during the French tennis Open men's final match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on June 8. Djokovik was made top seed at next week’s Wimbledon tennis championships. Photographer: Patrick Kovarik/AFP via Getty Images

Second-ranked Novak Djokovic was made top seed at next week’s Wimbledon tennis championships, while world No. 1 Rafael Nadal was relegated to second.

Spain’s Nadal, who won a record ninth French Open title earlier this month by beating Djokovic of Serbia in the final, won’t be top seed at the All England Club because of his record on grass over the past two years.

Five-time champion Serena Williams is the women’s top seed, ahead of Australian Open champion Li Na of China and Romania’s Simona Halep. Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, a former Wimbledon finalist, was seeded fourth.

Wimbledon has its own formula for seeding players, unlike the other three majors, which follow the rankings of the men’s ATP World Tour and women’s WTA tour. The men’s seeds are based on the ATP rankings plus performance on faster grass courts over the past two years. The women’s seeding order usually follows the WTA rankings unless organizers need to make a change to balance the draw.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal, 28, last won a match at the tournament in the first round in 2013, before he was upset by Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic. Nadal, a 14-time major champion, lost in the first round last year to Belgium’s Steve Darcis.

Grass Record

After winning an unprecedented fifth straight Roland Garros championship on June 8, Nadal went to Halle, Germany, to start his grass-court campaign, only to lose his opening round in straight sets to 78th-ranked Dustin Brown of Germany.

Defending champion Andy Murray of Britain was seeded third, two spots higher than his current ATP World Tour ranking, while world No. 3 and Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland was made fifth seed. Roger Federer of Switzerland -- a seven-time winner -- was seeded fourth.

Murray beat Djokovic in straight sets in the finals last year, ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a male Wimbledon singles champion.

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov was seeded 11th, two spots higher than his ATP ranking, after he won last week’s grass-court event at London’s Queens Club.

Serena Williams, who lost in the second round of the French Open as the defending champion to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, is one title away from tying Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert with 18 Grand Slam singles championships.

Bartoli Retired

Wimbledon, which starts on June 23, will have a new women’s champion this year after the retirement of Marion Bartoli of France.

French Open winner Maria Sharapova was seeded fifth, meaning she could meet any of the top four women in the quarterfinals. The 27-year-old Russian is trying to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2002 to complete the French Open-Wimbledon double. Sharapova won her second Roland Garros title earlier this month in a close three-set final against Halep.

Serena’s elder sister and five-time champion Venus Williams was seeded 30th while two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus was made the No. 8 seed. Azarenka made her comeback this week at Eastbourne, after a four-month injury-related break.

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