Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams were named as the top seeds at Wimbledon while two-time winner Rafael Nadal was given a No. 10 seeding.
Williams won the Australian and French Opens this year and the U.S. Open in 2014. A sixth title at the All England Club would give the 33-year-old American all four major tennis titles simultaneously, repeating the self-proclaimed Serena Slam she achieved in 2003-2004.
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, was seeded 10th in accordance with his lowest ranking on the men’s tour in a decade. It means he could play any of the top four seeds -- Djokovic, No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Andy Murray and No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, from the quarterfinals.
Unlike the other three tennis majors, which follow the rankings of the men’s and women’s tours, Wimbledon has its own formula for seeding competitors. The men’s seeds are based on the ATP World Tour rankings plus performance on grass courts over the past two years. The women’s order usually follows the WTA rankings unless organizers need to make a change to balance the draw.
Nadal, a 14-time major singles champion, has struggled on the London lawns in recent years. He’s not gone further than the last 16 since he was a runner-up to Djokovic in 2011. After suffering only his second defeat at Roland Garros at the hands of the top-ranked Serb in the French Open quarterfinals three weeks ago, Nadal rebounded in Stuttgart, clinching his first tournament win on grass since the 2010 Wimbledon.
Wimbledon gave big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, a semifinalist last year, the No. 7 seeding, one place higher than his ATP World Tour ranking. Spain’s David Ferrer, who has never gone past the quarterfinals and lost in the second round last year, was seeded No. 8, one spot lower than his actual ranking.
Nadal is playing the Boodles exhibition event in Stoke Park west of London this week after he lost in the opening round of Queen’s last week to Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic is seeded second, while 2004 winner Maria Sharapova is fourth. Venus Williams, Serena’s older sister and a five-time winner, is No. 16. Eugenie Bouchard, the runner-up last year from Canada who has struggled this season with form and confidence, is seeded 12th.
Djokovic, the defending champion from Serbia, won the Australian Open this year and lost in the final of the French Open to Switzerland’s Wawrinka. The championship starts on Monday.