The controversial decision to seed two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal at No. 5 in this year’s tournament means that he could face seven-time winner Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, a possibility that arose Friday when the tournament draw was announced showing both in the same half of the men's bracket.
Nadal, the eight-time French Open champion whose ranking fell because he took seven months off to heal a knee injury, has met Federer in three Wimbledon finals. They have never played each other before the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. Federer is seeded third as he tries to win a record eighth Wimbledon title. Britain’s Andy Murray, seeded No. 2, was also placed in the bottom half of the draw.
Wimbledon's seedings are based on a formula that incorporates the men's tour rankings and adds points for grass court performances.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia is in the top half and has an easier projected path, with a possible semifinal match against fourth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain. He will open against Florian Mayer of Germany.
Play opens on Monday, highlighted by Federer facing Victor Hanesecu of Romania, Nadal facing Steve Darcis of Belgium, and Murray facing Benjamin Becker of Germany.
Among the women, five-time champion and No. 1 seed Serena Williams will begin defense of her title on Tuesday against Mandy Minella of Luxembourg. No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who lost to Williams in last year’s final, is in the same half of the draw. So is No. 14 Samantha Stosur of Australia, who defeated Williams for the 2011 U.S. Open title.
No. 2 Viktoria Azarenka of Belarus was joined in the other half of the draw by No. 3 Maria Sharapova of Russia, who lost to Williams in the French Open final two weeks ago.
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