Rafael Nadal has called out the Wimbledon Championships for not respecting ATP rankings after the grass major seeded Roger Federer above him.
Nadal reached the final of the 2019 Australian Open, four ATP semifinals, before winning the Italian Open and the French Open this year.
Federer has won three ATP tour titles but failed in the two biggest tournaments of the year so far, getting eliminated in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January, and the semifinal at Roland Garros in June.
Above all, Nadal is actually higher than Federer in the ATP tennis rankings, second only to Djokovic.
The three other majors — Australia, French, and the US Open — simply replicate the world rankings when it comes to seeding players for their tournaments, but Wimbledon does not do this.
Wimbledon instead uses a mathematical formula, one that favors Federer this summer, as it looks only at grass court performance over the last two years, The Times reports.
“Wimbledon is the only tournament of the year that does it like this,” Nadal told the Spanish television channel Movistar, according to The Times. “It would be better to be two than three but if they think I have to be three I will accept it and fight to win the matches I have to win.”
“The only thing that doesn’t seem right about this issue is that it is only Wimbledon that does it. If they all did it, it would seem more correct.”
As Federer won the Halle Open earlier this month, his 10th title in the German competition, it bolstered his position in Wimbledon’s grass-only algorithm. But Nadal believes this overlooks players who have been in-form elsewhere in the season, whether clay, hardcourt, or playing indoors.
“It’s not only about my particular case,” he said. “There have been many occasions when players have played well all year on all surfaces but Wimbledon does not respect the ranking they have earned. For this reason they get more complicated draws.”
Even Djokovic, the number one seed at Wimbledon and the best men’s player on the planet right now according to the ATP, says the decision is “surprising.”
According to Yahoo Sports, Djokovic said that Wimbledon has its own rules and “we’ve got to respect it” but added “it’s a little bit surprising … even though it’s Roger, the greatest of all time.
“He’s won the most Wimbledon titles of any player in history and if anyone deserves it it’s him. But at the same time it’s Nadal that he’s taking over as second seed so it is surprising but it is what it is.”
The Wimbledon Championpships begins on July 1 and will finish with the 2019 men’s final on July 14. Djokovic is the defending champion.