Email
Print
Email
Print

Nadal likely seeded fifth at Wimbledon with possible blockbuster quarterfinal

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is likely to be seeded behind David Ferrer, who has one Wimbledon quarterfinal. (Bob Martin/SI)

Wimbledon seeds won’t be announced until Wednesday, but barring a (possible but unlikely) discretionary bump by the All England Club, the top five seeds at Wimbledon will follow the ATP rankings. No. 1 Novak Djokovic will lead the way as the top seed with Andy Murray staying ahead of 2012 champion Roger Federer for the No. 2 seed and two-time champion Rafael Nadal stuck at the No. 5 seed.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion, will be behind No. 4 David Ferrer, whom Nadal beat in the French Open final. Ferrer has made it past the fourth round of Wimbledon once, making the quarterfinals last year.

Unlike the other three Slams, Wimbledon is not bound to follow the ATP rankings when it comes to seeding its own tournament by virtue of its status as a private club (the other Slams are run by tennis federations). Prior to 2001, seeds were determined by a committee. Since 2001, the All England Club has applied a seeding formula that takes into account a player’s historical success on grass. The formula only applies to the men’s seeds (the women’s seeding remains at the full discretion of The Club), but it’s been responsible for some notable seed bumps in the past.

Without the benefit of the formula, Andy Roddick would have gone into his last Wimbledon unseeded last year. Instead, his grass success bumped him up to earn No. 30 out of 32 seeds. Bernard Tomic, who made the quarterfinals in 2011, got bumped up seven spots last year as well, to No. 20. In 2011, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earned a seven-spot jump from No. 19 to No. 12, a move that paved the way for his quarterfinal upset of Federer that year.

NGUYEN: Attention back on returning Murray as grass-court season begins

The formula takes a player’s ATP ranking points as of the Monday before Wimbledon, adds the points earned for all grass tournaments in the past 12 months and 75 percent of the points earned in the best grass-court tournament in the 12 months before that. Given the paucity of grass-court tournaments throughout the year, The Club’s formula looks to reward those players who have demonstrated recent and  repeated success on the surface. The formula also helps bolster the importance of tournaments such as Queen’s, Halle, Newport and s’Hertogenbosch. A win at any of those tournaments could be vital in providing protection in the Wimbledon draw.

Djokovic is assured the No. 1 seed. His current ATP rankings points outpace Murray’s weighted totals. Assuming The Club takes into account last year’s Olympic results, which were played on grass, Murray has at least 10,890 points (including his semifinal points from Queen’s) by virtue of his 2012 Wimbledon final, Olympic gold and his 2011 Wimbledon semifinal. Federer follows behind him with at least 10,450 points (including his semifinal points from Halle), thanks to his 2012 Wimbledon title, Olympic silver and a 2011 Wimbledon quarterfinal. Murray and Federer’s final totals depend on their results this weekend in Queen’s and Halle, respectively.

Of course, the seedings question on everyone’s mind as the French Open wound down was whether Nadal would go into Wimbledon as the No. 4 or No. 5 seed. His dominance over the last five months helped him reclaim the No. 4 ranking from Ferrer before the French Open began, but Ferrer’s run to the final in Paris allowed him to retake the spot when the ATP rankings came out on Monday.

(Now before the cries of “How could Nadal win the French Open and drop in the rankings” reach an already ridiculous crescendo, it bears repeating that the ATP rankings are based on a revolving 12-month calendar and Nadal didn’t play for seven of those months. Ferrer made the semifinals of two of the Slams Nadal skipped. I mean, do the math. It really does make sense.)

Ferrer’s Paris success combined with Nadal’s early exit last year at Wimbledon quash Nadal’s chances for a top-four seed (well, that and the fact that he missed seven months) unless he gets a discretionary bump. Ferrer’s weighted point total takes into account his 2012 s’Hertogenbosch title, Wimbledon quarterfinal, third round at the Olympics and the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2011, giving him 8,035 points.

Nadal will come in behind Ferrer by 195 points with a weighted tally of 7,840. That figure takes into account Nadal’s second-round loss at Wimbledon last year as well as his Wimbledon final the year before. Playing Halle this week would have given him a shot at catching Ferrer, but he withdrew after making the French Open final. With Nadal seeded fifth, he has the same chance of being drawn against Djokovic, Murray or Federer as he would Ferrer, who has made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon only once.

The risk of that imbalanced draw was something we saw in Indian Wells when Nadal and Federer played each other in the quarterfinals of a tournament for the first time since their first meeting in 2004. Given Nadal’s current form, which has seen him make the final of all nine tournaments he’s played this year and winning seven of them, the All England Club must be crossing their fingers Nadal isn’t in the same quarter as one of the other Big Four members come Friday’s draw release.

Video: Monfils’ between-the-legs, 360-degree spinning overhead

  • Published On Jun 14, 2013
  • 37 comments
    jfleckens
    jfleckens

    Couldn't Nadal have applied for a protected ranking since he was out with injury for so long?  I know it's only good for a certain number of tournaments but it would have certainly put him up in the 2-4 rankings considering it.  Or maybe he doesn't care since he's so good anyway? 

    gregscordato
    gregscordato

    Minor correction - Wimbledon does alter the seeding based on the formula, but you have to be in the top 32 ranked players in the tourney before bonus points are awarded. Not sure of Roddick's exact ranking in the example used, but it was not grass points that got him a seed. You have to be a seed first before the grass court ranking points are used to reweight the seedings.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    mangstadt: Thanks, it's a pleasure to read your well-argued comments as well.

    Nadal claimed his left knee had three different injuries: hoffa syndrome, partial tear of tendon, and his chronic tendinitis (this is based on reports I read in Spain's largest newspapers, e.g., El Pais). Nadal's injuries tend to be chronic 'overuse injuries' rather than 'acute injuries'. Overuse injuries occur from trying to do too much and/or using poor (medically-unsound) techniques without allowing the body adequate time to recover (see link). Common sense tells us that playing too much with stressful techniques tends to cause and worsen overuse injuries.  

    http://tinyurl.com/8cc9ktr

    Take Nadal's Hoffa syndrome injury: Nadal claimed the injury first surfaced in February 2012. Nadal claimed he played with this knee injury from 2012 Indian Wells to 2012 Wimbledon. 

    - If a player is injured (especially a very experienced player like Nadal with a very experienced team and doctors), one of the logical responses is to reduce his schedule and cut back on playing unnecessary tennis matches matches until the injury is healed.

    - Yet what did Nadal do immediately after the injury supposedly started? Nadal played even more tennis matches (See link): Nadal played doubles in three tournaments during his 'injury period' at Indian Wells, Miami and Halle.

    http://tinyurl.com/8tx9h4z

    - Nadal even won the doubles title at Indian Wells.

    - The next week after Indian Wells, Nadal went on to play even more doubles at Miami! 

    - Nadal publicized that he took anti-inflammatories to play the French Open. Sound serious. But common sense tells us that if he was badly injured at the French Open, he would not be fit enough to play in Halle a few days after the French Open final. But Nadal played Halle: Nadal played two rounds of singles and two rounds of doubles before collecting his huge appearance fees and leaving. If he was seriously injured, why play doubles? Halle is a minor event -- Federer skipped Halle twice after getting groin injuries at 2007  and 2011 French Opens.

    When a player claims he is injured (due to overuse injuries) but engages in contradictory activity by playing even more tennis, it fails the smell test. Over the years, whenever Nadal claims he is injured I check his doubles activity -- and often it shows that he was playing a lot of doubles during the period he was supposedly getting injured or already injured. 

    And when even pro-Nadal analysts like tennis Mag's Steve Tignor saw nothing wrong with Nadal's movement (and saw no injury affecting Nadal) when he lost to No. 100 Rosol last Wimbledon -- how injured could Nadal have been if he was able to play Tennis Magazine's match of the year? 

    After losing Wimbledon, Nadal takes seven months off, always surfacing during the Grand Slam and Masters events to mention something about his 'injured' knees. Team Nadal turned Nadal's knees into a publicity event. 

    It was obviously a voluntarily-chosen break on Nadal's part. [In 1989, Thomas Muster suffered severed knee ligaments in his left knee (full tears of a ligament tears are a serious injury) when he was struck by a drunk driver.  Muster had surgery. With the aid of a special chair designed to allow him to practice hitting balls while recovering from knee surgery, Muster returned to competitive tennis just six months later. Muster was able to recover from the acute injury of severed ligaments, using technology from 25 years ago, in just 6 months. But Nadal needs 7 months to recover from his 'overuse injuries'? ] 

    That said, it's actually perfectly ok for Nadal to take a break from the ATP tour give he has played 700 matches. But to use his 'injuries' to exploit sympathy from the public and use injuries to downplay his losses -- that's a bit much.


    Do you have any credible links or facts to support your comment that "in 2009, Nadal did undergo surgery"? If Nadal underwent surgery, healing and rehab would probably keep him from playing for possibly at least 8 weeks. But Nadal's timeline of activity after his Sodeling loss indicates no operation took place.

    - in end May 2009, Nadal lost to Soderling at 2009 French Open. Steve Tignor and some other analysts saw no indication that Nadal was hampered by his knees at any point during the 2009 French Open.  

    - in mid June 2009, Nadal played two exhibition grass matches against Hewitt and Wawrinka during the week before Wimbledon. Some news media reported they saw nothing visibly wrong with Nadal's knees. 

    http://tinyurl.com/nxjxzgk

    - After the exhibition matches (Nadal would have immediately known the state of his knees during the matches), Nadal waited until the Wimbledon draw was made -- and then withdrew a few hours after the draw came out. That 2009 draw was Nadal's worst ever Wimbledon draw since 2005 till today -- Rafa the No. 1 seed (replaced by Del Potro after he withdraw) had several potential landmines in his path, including the competent grass courter Lleyton Hewitt who just beat him in the exhibition match, Roddick,, Murray, Petzchnner, Stepanek. Given that Nadal waited until the draw was made, it suggests he waited to see whether he had an easy draw before deciding to play or withdraw.

    http://tinyurl.com/mhusqfm

    - Nadal's time off the tour was not long. In early August 2009, Nadal played Canada -- both singles and doubles! And Nadal went on to play Cincinnati and US Open. Obviously he was fully recovered by the time he returned to the tour in early August and was ready to play a full load of matches.

    http://tinyurl.com/mdh4ssg


    dushyantjoshia
    dushyantjoshia

    I am a Rafa fan but Federer 'reaching a stunning 36th consecutive major quarterfinal'  is not a JOKE. There can't be anyone like Federer.

    MCB
    MCB

    Nadal didn't CHOOSE to take a break. He was injured, Big difference. And if you want to discount Nadal's achievements, then why not also Fed's, who cleaned up at Grand Slams on lesser competition until Nadal, Murray and Novak game into their primes. I would also love to know what your vaunted statistics tell you about Fed's abysmal head-to-head against Nadal. Oh, we can brush that off as various "slumps," or because of the "surface." We get it. You dislike Nadal. But don't try to disguise it behind math. Own it and move on.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    It's not the fault of Wimbledon or other players that Nadal created this problem by his choosing to take a long 7-month break from competition (which dropped his rankings). Too bad for Nadal and the other player he meets in the quarterfinal. 

    That's the nature of competition. There is never a perfect draw for every player. If Nadal gets a bad draw this Wimbledon -- don't forget that Rafa benefited from favorable semifinal draws in at least 16 of the past 22 major tournaments over the last 5.5 years (Nadal’s half did not have Djokovic or Federer in those 16 slams).

    Since 2008 Australian Open there have been 22 grand slam tournaments. In 19 of these 22 slams, Federer ended up getting a semifinal draw with the worse semifinal opponent (Djokovic was the semifinal draw in 16 of those 22 draws, except in these 6 draws: 2008 FO, 2010 FO, 2012 AO, 2012 USO, 2013 AO, 2013 FO). On the other hand, Nadal got the easier semifinal draw in those 16 draws (which has no doubt helped Nadal reach several finals since 2008). The only three favorable semifinal draws Federer got in the last 5.5 years were 2008 French Open, 2010 French Open and 2013 French Open -- but he was unable to take advantage of these easier draws because he was in the middle of a slump each time. When Nadal lost early in 2012 Wimbledon, Federer got Djokovic in his semifinal draw. When Nadal was absent from 2012 US Open and 2013 Australian Open, Federer both times got Andy Murray in the semifinal draw (and a hot Berdych and Tsonga in the quarterfinals).

    It's perhaps a statistical anomaly that Federer got the tougher draws while Nadal got the easier draws in 16 of the last 22 draws. However an academic did an analysis which suggested it was statistically impossible for Federer and Djokovic to be drawn together so often (see links). 

    http://tinyurl.com/cjqe3rh

    http://tinyurl.com/bn7rsqu

    For consistency's sake, the All-England club should stick to its same seeding formula for Nadal and every other player. There is a much more sound argument for bumping up the Federer's seeding to No. 2 than for bumping up Nadal's seeding. Federer is not only the defending Wimbledon champion, he is a record  (tied) seven-time champion, as well as he has the best grass winning percentage and most grass titles in the entire ATP era. Wimbledon is the premier major in the world, and Federer is its biggest star attraction (much more than Nadal is).

    In any case, David Ferrer is no slouch on grass. He has two grass titles at Hertogenbosch (2008, 2012). His 71% winning percentage on grass is virtually identical to his winning percentage on clay. If the seeding formula identifies Ferrer as the fourth seed, then Ferrer deserves it. 

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    Ferrer will advance past all the also-rans then get slaughtered by one of the big boys by a score of 6-1, 6-3, 6-1. Happens all the time.

    mangstadt
    mangstadt

    The fact that Ferrer won a grass tournament last year makes it harder to demote him to fifth seed and bump Nadal up to fourth, aside from the fact that Nadal will not get the same treatment as Federer in the past, for obvious reasons. This said, I think Nadal is better appreciated at the All England Club than at Roland Garros, I mean he's sort of a pain in the arse for the French.

    The threat is not for Nadal but for the top three seeds, because I'm sure nobody wants Rafa on their side of the draw, especially if they have to meet him in the quarterfinals. When Nadal went out early at RG in 2009 he stayed away for a few months until he recovered. When he went out early at WIM in 2012 he did the same, only this time it lasted seven months. In 2011 it was the Djokovic factor that finished off Nadal at the final. So this year it might be Rafa's turn to take the title again, judging from his recent performance and the fact that he's taking cautionary measures in order not to overwork his knee.

    The draw will be interesting. I think it would balance out quite well if Ferrer and Nadal are on the same side, with either Dojokovic or Murray. If Nadal falls on the same side as Federer, it's bad news for Roger unless somebody gets Nadal out of the way for him. We'll see.

    TahirRehman
    TahirRehman

    I think it is to knockout Rafa as soon as they can.Dangerous for their favorite player ,u know what I meant??

    susan15
    susan15

    Given that Nadal has won the tournament two out of the last three times he has entered, don't you think they should provide him a little 'discretion'?  You know they would if he were English!

    susan15
    susan15

    The English and the French are both natural enemies of the Spanish.  And they do ANYTHING to disrupt Nadal's success, INCLUDING mascarading flare carrying protestors in an attempt to disrupt his rhythm.

    it's pathetic.  but so are the English and the French.

    shelley
    shelley

    So Rafa will be behind Ferrer by 195 points. Funny, that's exactly how many points Rafa has sitting in his Non-Countable category which he can't count because the ATP penalized him for not playing enough 500's last year...BECAUSE HE WAS INJURED!  If Ferrer doesn't defend his winning s’Hertogenbosch title points, the spread between the two of them will be less than 195.

    Doesn't seem fair to me. Yes, everybody understands that a player's ranking will go down when he's injured and is unable to play but to add penalties that don't allow said player to move back up the rankings is wrong.


    Being seeded fifth will be tough but Rafa will beat everyone in front of him anyway. The guys who should be upset about his seeding are the ones who might have to play him in the quarters. Fed could lose 2000-360 = 1640 points if he gets that draw.  Djokovic lost 480 points in Paris because of Rafa's seeding. It's not just about Rafa, it's also about the unfairness to other players.

    AntonioJesúsVaquero
    AntonioJesúsVaquero

    I can see that you have sort of cleverness but in what you apply this "sort of argumentative monologue'' are not facts, but appreciations.      FACT- Whatever an honest and smart specialized  doctor dictate (diagnosis) about your health or lack of it                  APPRECIATION- What ever the Frick that you want to think about a fact.

    AntonioJesúsVaquero
    AntonioJesúsVaquero

    @Michael9 I can see that you have sort of cleverness but in what you apply this "sort of argumentative monologue' are not facts, but appreciations.      FACT- Whatever an honest and smart specialized  doctor dictate (diagnosis) about your health or lack of it                  APPRECIATION- What ever the Frick that you want to think about a fact.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    mangstadt: My statistics and analysis about the draws being favorable for Nadal and unfavourable for Federer in the past are correct:

    - Nadal's semifinals had easier opponents much more of the time, making it easier to reach more finals. Between 2008 Australian Open to 2012 Wimbledon, these were Nadal's semifinal seeds: Ferrer (1), Davydenko (2), Del Porto (1), Soderling (1), Federer (1), Murray (10), Djokovic (2). But in only in 6 majors of the 18 majors during this period did Nadal actually have to play his top 4 seeded opponent in the semifinals -- Federer once, Djokovic once (Djoko failed to reach another semifinal), Murray 4 times (Murray failed to reach 5 semifinals, Nadal failed to reach 1 semifinal). Ferrer, Davydenko, Delpo, Soderling all failed to reach the semifinals, so Nadal did not have to face them. In other words, in only 33% of his 18 major semifinals during this period did Nadal actually have to play his highest seeded opponent in the semifinals (that's a great advantage to help him reach the finals in fresh shape).

    - Federer's semifinals had tougher opponents more of the time, making it harder to reach more finals. During this period, Federer drew Djokovic in 16 of 19 draws during this period (and faced Djokovic in 9 semifinals), Murray in two draws (faced Murray once) and Davydenko one draw. Federer actually had to play his highest seeded opponent in the semifinals in 53% of 19 major semifinals during this period (that's a disadvantage when Federer gets into the semifinals).

    - Contrary to your claim that "Djokovic in past years was never such an important threat", Novak was always more dangerous to Nadal and more consistent in reachign the semifinals than other players (e.g., Murray): from 2008 AO to 2012 Wimby, Djokovic reached 13 of 19 semifinals, compared to Murrays 10 semifinals. Already in 2008, Djokovic had beaten Nadal twice and took a set off Nadal even on clay. During this period, Nadal's H2H with Murray was a dominant 11-5 but against Djokovic it was a closer 13-12. Obviously Djokovic was much more capable of beating Nadal than Murray ever was.

    - Your view is incorrect that "when Nadal was No. 1, it would only be natural that he should get an easier draw". The top 4 seeds each have an equal opportunity of getting an easier draw, based on statistical probably. There is no logical or statistical reason for a player to get an easier draw just because he is No.1.


    It's likely Nadal did not mind missing the 2012 Olympics as the Olympics was not really "the high point on his calendar" in 2012 despite what he claimed (the high points of his calendar were probably to win the French Open and Wimbledon). Winning another Olympics does nothing for his GOAT aspirations. And Nadal's attitude about playing for his country is indicated by his mediocre attendance at Davis Cup matches for Spain: since 2006, Nadal has played in only 8 ties of Spain's 23 Davis Cup ties (34.8%) -- Rafa missed all five DC away ties outside Europe, including the 2008 Davis Cup Finals in Argentina, and critical ties against USA in 2007 and 2011. During this period David Ferrer played in 17 ties, Djokovic played in 17 ties and even old Federer in 8 ties (more total matches and away ties than Nadal).


    - Your view "if Roger gets drawn on the same side as Rafa, either Rafa gets knocked out earlier or Roger won't stand a chance" evades the fact that Federer (a) bageled and crushed Nadal at 2011 year-end championships; (b) straight-setted a helpless Nadal at 2012 Indian Wells (Nadal panicked and ran off to the washroom in the middle of the final set -- just one of his many attempts at gamesmanship when he plays Federer); and (c) Federer wasn't fit or playing his best before the grass season (his results in the first 4.5 months of 2013 are similar to 2000/2001).


    Federer is not worried about playing Nadal on grass, given Roger's improving form. When asked about the debate whether Nadal should be moved up, Federer replied: "It’s the same debate before the French Open. At the end he was seeded four. I was like ‘why the big fuss.’ Ferrer played rock solid last 365 days. What are you going to say? Rafa hadn’t played that much. That’s how the rankings go. But in probably a month or so Rafa is going to be the top 2 or 3. So, he’s going to be patient right now. It clearly changes the draw with the dynamics of it but not more than that really. I mean the quarter final is not first round. It’s still far away in the draw if you think about it."

    http://tinyurl.com/ksdqu74


    In terms of longevity, 27-year old Nadal is well above the norm. Currently his 750 career matches places him No. 6 on the list of active players -- every player above Nadal is at least 31 years old (No. 2 Tommy Haas is just 820 matches more than Nadal, and Tommy is 35 years old). Very few players survive beyond 900 total matches (in the ATP era, the tenth highest player Sampras had 984 matches). 


    One of the myths about Nadal is that he is a 'clay courter' whose worse surface is the hardcourts. Perhaps that's the case based on his relative results. yet the very first ATP final he reached was not on clay but on the hard courts at the Heineken Open, New Zealand in January 2004. The probem for Nadal on hardcourts is that there are more highly competent hardcourt players who can beat him (much fewer claycourt competent players who can beat him on clay).

    Asitis
    Asitis

    @MCB Well said, perfectly put and so true it has to hurt....

    tennislover
    tennislover

    @Michael9You can use all the stats you want to support your position that your poor Roger did not get a favorable draw in 16 of the last 22 GS tournaments. But, the truth is Roger was No. 1 seed, Rafa No. 2 seed, and Novak No. 3 seed in most, if not all, of those GS. The usual pattern at all GS has been to pair No. 1 and No. 3 seeds together, and No. 2 and No. 4 seeds together. Besides, Novak ending up in Roger's half was not considered a tough draw since Novak was never much of a threat before 2011, especially not to Roger. In fact, Roger was among the very few players who was able to beat Novak in 2011, during Novak's best career year. As for Roger's draws, he has been losing to players outside top 4 seeds in the past few years, including Tsonga, Delpo, Berdych. So, regardless of which of the top 4 end up in his half, he still has to worry about facing tough top 10 seeds in QF. In regard to Rafa's Wimbledon 2013 draw, it is not favoritism to Rafa if Wimbledon seeds him in top 4 (which is moot since they're not going to). It's actually favorable to the other top players if Rafa is seeded higher, as evidenced by his recent victory at RG over Novak. Had Rafa been seeded No. 5 at RG and Novak had to face him in QF, Novak would have lost 840 points instead of 480 points he actually lost. It will be interesting if Wimbledon seeds Rafa as No. 5 and Rafa ends up in Murray's quarter. I'd like to see if Wimbledon officials will kick themselves when Rafa beats their favorite son in QF! Regardless of the scenarios, Rafa will be sitting back while everyone else is sweating the draw. He's got 90 points to defend at Wimbledon and has nowhere to go but up in the rankings.

    TahirRehman
    TahirRehman

    I think ,it seems u r really hurt of what happened in last major.WOW,u wrote the whole essay.Fedfan so sad & depressed after what Rafa did ,plz plz plz don't cry I know Fed has an abysmal H2H against Rafa plz be patient don't u commit suiside OK ,U MORON

    Michael9
    Michael9

    Wimbledon should not give special treatment to Nadal, given he (a) lost his second match of 2012 Halle to a No. 34 player in straight sets, (b) lost his second match of 2012 Wimbledon to a No. 100 player and (c) has not played competently on grass for almost two years.

    Furthermore, Nadal voluntarily chose to stay away from the ATP tour instead of working to win the necessary points. There were no signs of injury or hampered movement in Nadal's two 2012 Wimbledon matches. Even Steve Tignor (who is a fan of Nadal) noted that Nadal did not appear injured or hampered in movement during his loss to Rosol. Tignor noted: "My policy is, even if a player later says that he was injured, if I didn't notice that he was impaired on court, I’m not going to make it a significant part of my assessment of the match. Watching the tape of Rosol-Nadal then, and watching the clip above now, I can’t see any moment when Rafa was obviously hindered by his creaky knees. (I’ve always felt the same way about his loss to Robin Soderling at the French Open in 2009...)" Nadal was able to play a high-quality five setter that Tignor chose as Tennis Magazine's match of the year.

    http://tinyurl.com/kbf8r96

    So it's a myth that Nadal was seriously injured after 2012 Wimbledon or after 2009 French Open: how injured can a player be if (a) he is still able to move and play normally in his last few matches before taking an 'injury break' and (b) he did not require a surgical operation during the 7 month injury break (unlike other really injured players who required operations).

    Nadal chose to take a seven-month break from the tour probably to refresh, re-tool (change his racket) and practice new tactics. As well, Nadal used the seven-month break to play several golf tournaments, including the Baleares golf championship last early September, during the 2012 US Open (see link). Knee injuries are the second most common golf injury (Nadal is a right-handed golfer, so he puts stress on his left knee whenever he swings his golf club) -- so obviously Nadal wasn't that seriously injured that he couldn't return to the tour.

    http://tinyurl.com/msrqn8q

    tennislover
    tennislover

    @TahirRehman Exactly. Having Rafa seeded No. 5 is dangerous for All England Club's favorite son -- Murray, or adopted son, Federer. With the draw likely going No. 1 and No. 3 in same half; No. 2 and No. 4 in same half, we will have Djokovic-Federer half; Murray-Ferrer half. If Rafa ends up in Murray's half of draw, he's likely to take out Murray in QF based on their H2H in the past. Where will that leave poor British crowd who've been waiting 76 years for a Wimbledon crown by a native??

    Rob James
    Rob James

    @susan15 

    Maybe yes, maybe no on the English question. But Nadal has NOT won the event two out of the last three times he has entered; he has actually lost the event two out of the last three times he's entered - last year to Rosol and the year before to Djokovic. With his second round exit last year, I can't see how the AEC could elevate him from his normal seeding but you never know.  

    Khyzer
    Khyzer

    @susan15 The way Nadal is playing, I think English in general and Murray in particular are the ones to worry. With Nadal seeded 5th, he will most likely face Murray in the quarters and will most probably end Murray's campaign. He loves playing against Murray and Roger and loves to beat them for fun. So let it happen - if Nadal doesn't get to face Djokovic before final he cannot ask for a more favorable draw. From where I see, its going to be Rafa vs Nole in this years final as well.

    barjona
    barjona

    @susan15 Please read the article and note that there is a fixed formula involved. It's not random, which means no, if it was Andy Murray in the same boat there's nothing the AEC would do about it. It's based on Nadal's ranking (5th), weights his grass results over the last year (a second round loss at Wimbledon is all he's got there) and then to a lesser extent from 2 years ago (much better but still not enough to displace Ferrer). It'll suck for whoever gets him in the quarters but hey, that's sports. Let's hope it's Ferrer and it's a moot point but it sure makes the draw more interesting than usual.

    tennislover
    tennislover

    @shelley Absolutely right! And, let's not forget what would happen if Rafa ends up in Murray's quarter draw. Murray has repeatedly said throughout his career, and confirmed at an interview at 2013 IW, that the toughest opponent he has ever had to face is NADAL. Murray sat out of RG this year due to back injury but, specifically to be better prepared for Wimbledon in the hopes of finally winning it this year. Having Rafa in his quarter or even in his half, will put a damper on his plans.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @tennislover @Michael9 Your vote to 'like' the abusive comment of TahirRehman (abusive language  and personal attacks violate the site rules) reveals your lack of objectivity and irrationality on this issue, and therefor unproductive to use my time to write a thorough reply. First, in any case, your claim that grand slams "pair No. 1 and No. 3 seeds together, and No. 2 and No. 4 seeds together" is completely wrong. Second, Federer's success with Djokovic and other players is irrelevant to this argument about facing the highest seeded player. Third, Since 2008, Federer past his prime lost only 4 majors to players outside the top four seeds (Roger never lost a major to a player ranked lower than No.19 since 2004 French Open -- to No. 30 Guga Kuerten, three-time FO champ). Nadal is much worse: in his prime, Nadal lost 7 majors to players ranked outside the top four seeds: Nadal even lost to unseeded No. 100 Rosol at 2012 Wimbledon and was crushed by unseeded No 38 Tsonga at 2008 Australian -- as well as lost another five majors to other players outside the top four seeds (2008 US Open, 2009 French Open, 2009 US Open, 2010 Australian Open, 2011 Australian Open). Fourth, Djokovic's loss to Nadal on clay means nothing for Wimbledon: Djokovic was very, very close to beating Nadal at Roland Garros on a warm, high-bouncing day -- just two service holds away. Remember that Nadal had the advantage of coming into te final with about 41 clay matches while Djokovic had only 14 clay matches and a heavy heart from the death of his old coach. Nadal was so shaky in the early rounds that had he met Djokovic in the quarterfinals he might have lacked the confidence to beat Novak. Your blind love for Nadal seems to have blind your objectivity. Djokovic, Federer and Murray are surely looking forward to meeting Nadal in the quarterfinals.

    MarcNichol
    MarcNichol

    @TahirRehman yeah, at it's core, it's hardly well-reasoned...it's an ongoing, highly defensive rant of a wounded animal..thank god the players, in his case federer, don't react like this

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @TahirRehmanYour abusive language violates the rules of this site. Calm down and control yourself. Your post makes no sense in terms of facts, logic or principles. What happened in the last major (Federer reaching a stunning 36th consecutive major quarterfinal, reaching 900 match wins, reaching 58 French Open match wins to tie Vilas's record, improving his fifth set record) had absolutely nothing to do with Nadal. Having achieved his goal of reaching the quarterfinals and generating the positive publicity with that win, Federer was more interested in taking a break so he could play Halle feeling fresh and healthy.

    If last year Nadal had not run away from the ATP Tour while Federer was in peak form, maybe they would have played at 2012 Cincinnati (where Federer became the only player in history to win a Masters 1000 title without losing a serve or dropping a set for the entire tournament; he also bageled Djokovic 0-6). Their H2H is meaningless because Nadal tends to stay away from indoor tournaments and even the ATP tour when Federer is in top form. All three periods that Nadal made a run at No.1 (Spring 2008, 2010, 2013) was when Federer was in a slump. Coincidence? Probably not. 

    Asitis
    Asitis

    @Michael9 I can't believe that a point system so ridiculous as the ATP tennis can be defended. Nadal has beat Ferrer every time they have played this year I think that's four times but this stupid system is going to seed him above Nadal Idiotic...........

    tennislover
    tennislover

    @Michael9 I see; you're one of those type of tennis fans who thrive on conspiracy theories and religiously follow conspiracy theorists. If that's the case, have you ever seen Federer's movements hampered by injury, only for him to profess during his press conference that his loss was due to an injury. For your information, he does it ALL THE TIME. Example: 2013 IW, 2013 Rome, 2013 AO, etc.

    You are forgetting the fact that these top players are consummate professionals, and as such, they have learned to play with injury and finish their matches. As for Nadal's 2012 knee injury resulting in a seven-month hiatus, please go back and look at the tapes or google all the tournaments he played leading up to 2012 Wimbledon. Rafa had his right knee taped up during the entire 2012 AO tournament. His right knee pain and overcompensation of the left knee, caused further deterioration of the patellar tendon in his left knee. Then, he forfeited his SF match at Miami against Murray just prior to the match, due to inflammation of left knee.  With all that, he still persevered through the 2012 clay court season because that's when he gains most of his points in a year. However, after the clay court season, he was exhausted, especially after the grueling final against Novak in the damp and cold Paris weather (which doesn't help an arthritic knee). Hence, his early loss at Halle, followed by an early loss at Wimbledon. If you need further evidence, please watch the tape of his match against Rosol. Rafa was not very agile in his forward movement and missed almost every drop shot he faced. His forward movement places added pressure on his patellar tendon and anterior cruciate ligament, causing pain in the fat pad behind his left knee cap. So, I wouldn't quote Steve Tignor as an authority -- he may know a lot about tennis but, knows very little to nothing about medicine.

    mangstadt
    mangstadt

    @Michael9 It's always a pleasure to read your input, always well reasoned and backed up by facts and experts' opinions.

    You stress that Nadal 'chose' to stay away from the ATP Tour for seven months (missing the Olympics, which were the high point on his calendar) but other sources will mention that he needed that time to overcome his chronic hoffitis on his left knee.

    After his defeat to Robin Soderling in 2009, Nadal did undergo surgery, unlike 2012, when he was tested several times (by doctors, I mean) and eventually sat out for seven months.

    Since as far back as I can remember there has always been a cohort of augurs foretelling that Nadal's playing style will inevitably lead him to early retirement, just like Borg before him. I am sure they are aware of this at the Nadal camp, with the advantage of benefiting from insider information--they know better than we do how well Rafa's knees and feet are. I once read that Nadal has a longer than average bone in one of his feet that makes life difficult for him, although he takes Pancho Gonzales' advice that you have to live with pain as if she were your lover.

    Everything they have done since Wimbledon 2012 seems to be geared to ensuring that Nadal can last  until completing a normaal tennis career in terms of longevity. He has said that he wants to be present at Rio 2016. He'll be 30 then.

    Because of the nature of Nadal's playing style, hard court is harmful, more than any other surface. Nadal thrives on softer courts, clay and grass, and takes advantage of his skill to win many tournaments on clay and a fair amount on grass. What he accomplishes on hard court, outdoor, is testament to his will to overcome his shortcomings (Federer is 'not the best' on clay; Nadal is 'not the best' on hard court) and the pain involved in playing on those harder surfaces.

    Your statistics about the draws being unfavourable for Federer in the past are somewhat skewed, because Djokovic in past years was never such an important threat, at least not until he reached his impressive form of 2011. And also because, when Nadal was No. 1, it would only be natural that he should get an easier draw, just like Federer when he was No. 1.  

    Anyway, a fair draw would have Nadal meeting Ferrer in the quarterfinals, I think everyone (except maybe Ferru) would be satisfied with that. If Roger gets drawn on the same side as Rafa, either Rafa gets knocked out earlier or Roger won't stand a chance. It's not a matter of being good on grass, it's not a matter of age. It's a fact that, aside from hard court indoor, Nadal has Federer intimidated, gripped by fear, unable to be himself the way he is against other players. Some 'choose' to stay away from the ATP Tour for several months, others are unable to choose how they walk into a match against their Nemesis. The Goat and the Tiger.

    It will be interesting to see how the draw goes and how everything develops. I don't see anyone out of the Big Four standing a chance. 

    Asitis
    Asitis

    @EdmondEvangelista The problem with the absurd seeding system is highlighted by the semi final at Rolland Garros....  Not only was the Nadal Novak match the final in everyones eye's but unfortunately Novak lost points because of the seeding stupidity. Had they met in the final Novak would have retained his points...


    Michael9
    Michael9

    @MarcNichol @TahirRehman At its core, your comment is an abusive personal attack that violates the site rules. But I guess that's what you have to resort to when you lack a rational argument.

    tennislover
    tennislover

    @Michael9 @TahirRehman OMG, Michael9, you are CLUELESS!! If their H2H won't convince you, just look at Federer's unforced errors in his matches against Rafa versus everyone else. He gets so intimidated by Rafa that he can't hit straight. It's as simple as that.

    rhill10
    rhill10

    @Michael9 @TahirRehman "Runaway"...really?  I would like you to try and do any kind of physical activity with a torn tendon and see how well you do, especially tennis, which is a grinding sport week in and week out.  It sounds like you are obsessed with your Fed boy, but how can Fed be the greatest of all time when he is not even the greatest of his era (and I don't compare Grand Slams, I compare Head-to-Head...the only true measure)

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @Asitis @Michael9  We all agree that Nadal is a more dangerous player than Ferrer. But the system must be applied fairly and consistently to all players. Federer on grass has much bigger credentials than Nadal on grass -- but even Roger the King Of Grass must follow the system. Nadal, like any other player, must earn his way back up the rankings in order to go up the seedings.

    Remember, Nadal was seeded fourth at the French Open only because he was ranked fourth in the ATP rankings after Rome (Nadal had 6,895 points while Ferrer had 6.740 points). Had Nadal been ranked No. 5, Ferrer would probably have been the fourth seed at French Open.


    Michael9
    Michael9

    @tennislover @Michael9Your vote to 'like' the abusive comment of TahirRehman (abusive language  and personal attacks violate the site rules) reveals your lack of objectivity and irrationality on this issue, and therefor unproductive to use my time to write a thorough reply. In any case, your arguments in suport of Nadal's injuries are already rebutted by Nadal's contradictory behavior as shown in my comments to mangstadt above.