Andy Murray, the defending champion, will be the No.3 seed at Wimbledon, it was confirmed yesterday.
The 27-year-old returns to the All England Club as the first British men's singles winner since 1936 and, as explained by Herald Sport yesterday, the Wimbledon weighting for grass-court tournaments means that he is promoted from his world ranking of 5. Novak Djokovic, Murray's final victim last year and the winner three years ago, is the top seed, ahead of top-ranked Rafael Nadal, the French Open champion and Wimbledon champion of 2008 and 2010, while Murray relegates the Swiss pair, Roger Federer, seeking an eighth singles title at SW19, and Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka to fourth and fifth respectively.
The women's seedings follow the world rankings exactly, so the American Serena Williams, a five-time Wimbledon winner, is No.1, followed by China's Li Na, the Australian Open champion, Simona Halep of Romania and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska. Maria Sharapova, champion at Wimbledon 10 years ago as a teenager and winner of the French Open 12 days ago, is seeded No.5.
Loading article content
Murray, now working with former women's No.1 Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach, is scheduled to play an exhibition match at IMG's BNP Paribas Classic at the Hurlingham Club today, before fine-tuning preparations back at his Wimbledon base.
The former Wimbledon runner-up Mark Philippoussis, meanwhile, feels that Federer, who beat him in the 2003 final should not be underestimated as the Swiss aims to eclipse Pete Sampras' post-open-era record of singles' titles.
The Australian said: "I believe he has one more grand slam in him and his best chance is at Wimbledon. Working with [his new coach] Stefan Edberg leading up to this, Roger has been more attacking and if he plays again like [when making the semi-finals] at the Australian Open, I am calling him to win this one."
British interest in Wimbledon's singles qualifying was ended by defeats for Emily Webley-Smith and Gabi Taylor at Roehampton.
Webley-Smith, the 29-year-old who reached the second round of the main Wimbledon draw in 2004, fought back against Danka Kovinic but lost 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to the sixth-seeded world No.107 from Montenegro. Teenager Taylor had beaten Sofia Arvidsson, a former world No.29, to progress to the final round of qualifying, but lost 6-3, 6-4 to the Czech Tereza Smitkova.
Hopes in the men's draw ended on Tuesday when Oli Golding and Brydan Klein both lost.
Heather Watson, the British No.1, beat No.6 seed Italian Flavia Pennetta to reach the AEGON International quarter-finals in Eastbourne. The 22-year-old lost the first set on a tie-break but recovered to win 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-2. She is the last British survivor following Johanna Konta's 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 defeat by Italy's Camila Giorgi.
Richard Gasquet, the top seed, advanced into the men's quarter-finals, beating Bernard Tomic of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.