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Monday, July 5, 2010
64 things we learned about the 64 seeds


As the dust settles at Wimbledon, consider these stats: By virtue of his victory Sunday, Rafael Nadal became the second-youngest man to reach eight majors, Roger Federer failed to show for the final for the first time since 2002, and Great Britain's wait for a men's Grand Slam champion is at 74 years -- and counting.

Serena Williams surpassed Billie Jean King on the Grand Slam ladder, with No. 13, while big sister Venus suffered her earliest exit at SW19 since 2006.

Continuing with the numbers game, we break down all 64 seeds at Wimbledon this year:

Men

1. Roger Federer: He's no longer the dominant force in tennis.

2. Rafael Nadal: Never underestimate his heart -- or game.

3. Novak Djokovic: Has it in him to return to 2008 form -- we think.

4. Andy Murray: Isn't as aggressive as he needs to be.

5. Andy Roddick: Playing five matches in two months isn't a recipe for success.

6. Robin Soderling: Rafa is obviously in his head.

7. Nikolay Davydenko: Still despises the hallowed lawns.

8. Fernando Verdasco: Overloaded his clay-court season. Bad move.

9. David Ferrer: Grit -- and a great return -- go a long way.

10. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Is lacking between the ears. Other body parts let him down.

11. Marin Cilic: Needs a little more time to fully mature.

12. Tomas Berdych: He's here to stay -- finally.

13. Mikhail Youzhny: His solid year had to hit a roadblock.

14. Juan Carlos Ferrero: End of the renaissance. Time to get back on clay.

15. Lleyton Hewitt: At the majors, the Aussie is a spent force.

16. Jurgen Melzer: His French Open run was no fluke.

17. Ivan Ljubicic: Injuries are getting to him. Bring on the Davis Cup.

18. Sam Querrey: On court, his decision-making sometimes lacks.

19. Nicolas Almagro: He'll never live up to the hype.

20. Stanislas Wawrinka: Wimbledon apparently doesn't mean much to him. Maybe next year he'll finally play a warm-up on grass.

21. Gael Monfils: Can't help but be a counterpuncher. What a shame.

22. Feliciano Lopez: As the pressure rises, he falls.

23. John Isner: He can play for 11 hours. No, really.

24. Marcos Baghdatis: He's nothing more than a dangerous floater.

25. Thomaz Bellucci: The lefty isn't afraid to make changes to his game. He'll get better.

26. Gilles Simon: Knee injuries aren't ideal -- just ask Rafa.

28. Albert Montanes: Despite a penchant for clay, he didn't fold at SW19.

29. Philipp Kohlschreiber: Talent is one thing. Winning big matches at a major is another.

30. Tommy Robredo: Even a fierce competitor like Robredo can't overcome injuries.

31. Victor Hanescu: He can spit.

32. Julien Benneteau: Can't stay away from long matches.

33. Philipp Petzschner: The crisp forehand and serve almost compensate for a weaker backhand.

Women

1. Serena Williams: She possesses the best women's serve ever.

2. Venus Williams: Father time is catching up with Venus.

3. Caroline Wozniacki: The weapons need more developing.

4. Jelena Jankovic: Always hurt and has to let the world know.

5. Francesca Schiavone: She's human. The letdown was inevitable.

6. Samantha Stosur: Her grass-court game has to be tweaked.

7. Agnieszka Radwanska: Beating the cream of the crop will be tough.

8. Kim Clijsters: The Belgian is hit-and-miss at Slams.

9. Li Na: The healthier she is, the better she is.

10. Flavia Pennetta: She's had more success in doubles lately.

11. Marion Bartoli: Wimbledon 2007 was a fluke.

12. Nadia Petrova: Can't stop running into Justine. Too bad.

13. Shahar Peer: Even the workmanlike Israeli has off days.

14. Victoria Azarenka: Is tumbling on the depth chart, and quickly.

15. Yanina Wickmayer: Losing in the third round wasn't disgraceful, considering the opponent.

16. Maria Sharapova: Remains tough as nails. Watch out New York.

17. Justine Henin: The comeback isn't going as planned.

18. Aravane Rezai: She's not the real deal, yet.

19. Svetlana Kuznetsova: Better days are long behind.

21. Vera Zvonareva: Can play when she stays focused. But as the doubles final proved, the transformation isn't complete.

23. Jie Zheng: It's tough competing with the behemoths.

24. Daniela Hantuchova: Mentally, she hasn't figured it out.

25. Lucie Safarova: Her boyfriend (Berdych) is a bit better.

26. Alisa Kleybanova: One of these days, she'll do something big.

27. Maria Kirilenko: The Grand Slam success was bound to end.

28. Alona Bondarenko: Just book a third-round appointment with JJ for the fourth consecutive Slam.

29. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: Hasn't progressed much since 2008.

30. Yaroslava Shvedova: Those Russians -- oops, Kazakhstanis -- can play doubles.

31. Alexandra Dulgheru: Isn't a one-surface pony, or so it seems.

32. Sara Errani: Errani is a one-surface pony. Grass isn't it.

33. Melanie Oudin: Remained afflicted by the sophomore jinx. If only she could play Fed Cup every week.

34. Kateryna Bondarenko: Hasn't fully recovered from a knee injury.