Rafael Nadal maintains position of Wimbledon seeding
World No 3 Federer plays down Nadal's concerns: "If you want to win the tournament, you have got to go through all the players."
By PA Media
Last Updated: 30/06/19 4:24pm
Rafael Nadal insists he respected the Wimbledon seedings rule but reiterated his stance that he doesn't think they are a fair reflection of a player's season.
The All England Club base their seedings on recent results on grass, while the remaining Grand Slams go by rankings.
It has left Nadal, the world No 2, seeded third and likely to have to beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic if he is to lift the title.
Wimbledon 2019: Selected Men's First Round matches
|Novak Djokovic||v||Philipp Kohlshreiber|
|Roger Federer||v||Lloyd Harris|
|Rafael Nadal||v||Yuichi Suguita|
|Kyle Anderson||v||Pierre-Hugues Herbert|
|Alexander Zverev||v||Jiri Vesely|
|Dominic Thiem||v||Sam Querrey|
|Nick Kyrgios||v||Jordan Thompson|
|Kyle Edmund||v||Jaume Munar|
The Spaniard had been quoted on Spanish television as being critical of the approach and stood firm during his press conference at the All-England Club on Saturday, despite underlining his respect for the competition.
"I respect the Wimbledon rules, another thing is if I believe that is fair or not, that's another story. I really personally believe it is not," the 2008 and 2010 champion said.
"It is not only about grass, the season is not only on grass. All the players work so hard to be where they are, then arrive here, they see a possibility to be in a tougher draw because of that.
"But I really respect the tournament so much. I really respect the history of this event. I really understand that they see the sport from another perspective. They want to do it by their own rules.
"I come here to play tennis. For me the goal is the same always, it doesn't matter if I'm second or third."
Nadal, a semi-finalist for the first time since 2011 last year, is in the same half of the draw as Federer, seeded second and typically phlegmatic when asked about Nadal's comments.
Monday's Show Courts - Order of Play
|Centre Court||(1) Novak Djokovic (Ser) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger)|
|Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) v (2) Naomi Osaka (Jpn)|
|(30) Kyle Edmund (GB) v Jaume Munar (Esp)|
|Court No 1||(7) Simona Halep (Rou) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Blr)|
|Jiri Vesely (Cze) v (6) Alexander Zverev (Ger)|
|Venus Williams (US) v Cori Gauff (US)|
The Swiss is a seven-time Wimbledon champion, so is the major beneficiary of the All-England Club's approach.
"At the end of the day, if you want to win the tournament, you've got to go through all the players that are in front of you," he said.
"We knew that the system was in place. I guess the system rewards you for playing a lot on the grass, well on grass.
"I guess I benefited from that. That was not part of my plan the last few years. It just happens that this year I get bumped up.
"Back in the day, it was tougher. Guys who were seeded became unseeded. So that was a bigger storyline I think than this one.
"It just happens that Rafa obviously went down, so I think that makes the news."
If Nadal is to get as far as a possible last-four date with Federer, he will have to navigate an incredibly tough route, including facing Nick Kyrgios, who recently labelled him "super salty" following a match in Acapulco.
Marin Cilic also looms in the draw for the Spaniard - who claimed a 12th French Open last month - but lost two exhibition matches at the Hurlingham Club last week.
"It's day-by-day, step-by-step. I have been improving every single day since I arrived here," he added ahead of his first round match with Yuichi Sugita.
"I hope to be ready, being honest. I think I see the normal evolution.
"Is normal that after when I played in Hurlingham I didn't play bad, just played against players that have been playing on grass for many matches.
"That's it. I played against two good players. I play against Sugita the first round. That's the main thing for me, the main preparation for me. Then we can talk about that if I am able to win that match."
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