Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has admitted he is surprised by the prospect of Rafael Nadal being named as the No.3 seed for next week’s tournament at the All England Club.
Despite being positioned at No.2 in the current ATP rankings, two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal is expected to be ranked below third ranked Roger Federer for the third Grand Slam of the year, with performances on grass courts taken into account as the order if formulated.
Djokovic is certain to be named as No.1 seed, but he admits the demotion of 18-time Grand Slam champion Nadal is harsh.
“They do it differently to everyone else and you have to respect that, although it is a little bit surprising,” said Djokovic, speaking at The Boodles exhibition event at Stoke Park.
“Roger Federer is the greatest of all-time on grass courts and he has won more Wimbledon titles than anyone else in history, but the guy he is being moved ahead of in the seeings is Rafael Nadal.
“For that reason, it is surprising a little bit, but it is what it is.”
Djokovic appeared to be in prime form as he beat world No.35 Cristian Garin at The Boodles, with his thoughts already turning to the defence of his Wimbledon title next week.
“Winning Grand Slams is the biggest priority at this stage of my career,” he stated. “I’m in a very privileged position to be No.1 in the world and it is a role that comes with a lot of pressure. I’m trying to deal with it in the best way I can.
Rafael Nadal blasts Wimbledon over ‘disrespectful’ seeding process that favours Roger Federer.https://t.co/z80X5i0uZl
— Tennis365 (@T365Official) June 25, 2019
“I’ve been in this position many times in my career now and I experience of dealing with it, but it is still not so easy.
“Winning Wimbledon last year was a huge turning point in my career last year. I was coming off the back of elbow surgery and had dropped out of the top 20 in the rankings.
“That tournament a year ago saw a huge shift in terms of the quality of tennis and the standards I was setting. Now I look forward to returning to the sacred Centre Court at Wimbledon.”
Djokovic is back in action for a second match at The Boodles on Wednesday, when he will take on Denis Shapovalov and you can watch the action here.
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