Federer, Mauresmo top seeds on Wimbledon grass
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.
|* 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
MORE TENNIS HEADLINES
- First for Federer as Swiss win Davis Cup
- Nadal criticizes captain for 'false' debate
- Nadal says he'll return to action in January
- Federer withdraws, cedes ATP title to Djoker
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Dates: June 26-July 9
Defending champions: Venus Williams, Roger Federer
Time difference: Great Britain is 5 hours ahead of ET
• Day 13: Federer wins men's title
• Garber: Federer maintains supremecy
• Sheppard: Nadal No. 2, and closing, on grass
• Notebook: Gilbert deal to coach Murray not official ... yet
• Jensen: Federer learned from French Open
• Day 12: Mauresmo wins women's title
• Garber:Mauresmo keeps nerves in check
• Sheppard: Bryans complete career Grand Slam
• Shriver, Fernandez: Mauresmo held up when it mattered
• Men's final preview: Nadal won't be an easy out
• Day 10: Women's semis | Nadal reaches semifinals
• Garber: Mauresmo breaks through
• Garber: Nadal's transition to grass
• Shriver: Two Grand Slam finals in one
• Navratilova loses final Wimbledon match
• Paul Goldstein blog
• Day 9: Men's quarterfinals
• Garber: Baghdatis awaits Nadal-Nieminen winner
• Garber: Navratilova wants one more title
• Sheppard: Bjorkman wins five-set marathon
• Notebook: Women's semifinal previews
• Nestor-Knowles win longest Grand Slam doubles match in history
• Day 8: Women's quarterfinals
• Garber: Belgians meet for third time in '06
• Garber: Mauresmo at home in Wimbledon
• Hawkins: Sharapova not fazed by streaker, Dementieva
• Notebook: Quarterfinal previews