Federer, Mauresmo top seeds on Wimbledon grass

Updated: June 23, 2006, 10:59 AM ET
Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England -- Clay-court king Rafael Nadal poses the biggest threat to Roger Federer's reign on grass -- at least based on Wimbledon seedings announced Wednesday.

Men's Grass-Court Win Streaks*
48 Roger Federer Halle 2003
41 Bjorn Borg Wimbledon 1976
-Wimbledon 1981
23 John McEnroe Brisbane 1980
-Queen's 1982
23 Pete Sampras Wimbledon 1994
-Wimbledon 1996
23 Pete Sampras Wimbledon 1998
-Queen's 2000
22 Jimmy Connors Queen's 1982
-Wimbledon 1983
* Open era (1968-present)

Despite a modest 3-2 career record at the All England Club, Nadal is seeded second behind three-time defending champion Federer.

In determining the seedings, Wimbledon took past performances on grass into account. But the tournament formula still left Nadal ahead of Andy Roddick, seeded third despite finishing runner-up to Federer the past two years.

The three highest-seeded women will be seeking their first Wimbledon title when tennis' grandest event begins Monday.

Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo, U.S. Open winner Kim Clijsters and French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne are seeded 1-2-3. Among the trio, only Henin-Hardenne has reached the Wimbledon final -- she was runner-up in 2001.

Maria Sharapova, who won the 2004 title at age 17, is seeded fourth. Defending champion Venus Williams is seeded seventh, five spots higher than her No. 12 ranking.

French Open champion Nadal, who pulled out of his Queen's Club quarterfinal last week with a sore shoulder, was given a seeding to match his No. 2 ranking. Roddick, whose ranking has slipped to fifth, has yet to win a tournament this year.

Benefiting from surfaces adjustments were Queen's Club winner Lleyton Hewitt (seeded sixth, ranked ninth), Mario Ancic (seventh/12th), Thomas Johansson (12th/21st) and Sebastian Grosjean (15/26).

Among those penalized by the adjustments for grass was Andre Agassi, who won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 1992, but missed the tournament the past two years with chronic back trouble. He is ranked 20th and seeded 26th.

David Nalbandian is seeded fourth, followed by Ivan Ljubicic, Hewitt, Ancic, James Blake, Nikolay Davydenko and Fernando Gonzalez. The top 24 men are entered.

Four-time semifinalist Tim Henman will make another attempt to become the first Englishman to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, but he's unseeded for the first time in 10 years. No British player was seeded for either draw.

On the women's side, Nadia Petrova is seeded fifth, followed by Svetlana Kuznetsova, Williams, Elena Dementieva, Patty Schnyder and Anastasia Myskina.

Missing from the women's draw will be Lindsay Davenport, the champion in 1999 and the runner-up to Williams last year. Ranked sixth, Davenport is sidelined by a back injury.

Also out are No. 9 Mary Pierce (foot tendinitis) and 2002-03 champion Serena Williams, whose ranking has fallen to 104th during her long layoff resulting from a knee injury.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press