My thoughts on the Wimbledon seeding system
Over the past week, there has been a lot of talk about how the Wimbledon seedings are set up. A lot of this is down to the fact that Federer (World No.3) has overtaken Rafa (World No.2) as the second seed at the tournament.
This change gave Roger a much more favorable draw compared to Nadal. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that he will face more seeded players, it just so happened that the players drawn in Rafa’s path were much tougher (most notably: Kyrgios). It should also be noted that there were other players that had their seedings change, but the main focus has been on this particular case.
Wimbledon differs in their seeding system compared to other slams. They take previous grass court results into account as opposed to just using the current rankings.
This year, the following formula was used. It has been in place since 2002.
· Take the ATP Ranking points on 24 June 2019
· Add 100 per cent of the points earned for all grass court tournaments in the past 12 months
· Add 75 per cent of the points earned for the best grass court tournament in the 12 months before that
Every slam already decides the length of their matches. They each have different fifth set structures, some involving tiebreaks and others not (Roland Garros). Given that they can already individually decide the duration of matches, I do not have an issue with them choosing their own seeding systems.
It is also interesting to consider Roland Garros, a tournament that Federer returned to after a 3 year absence. If they had a similar seeding system, Federer would have been more heavily affected as he would not have had any clay court points from the two years previous (he skipped the entire clay season in 2017 & 2018 Instead, he was ranked in accordance with his ranking, No.3.
I love tennis because of how international it is. It is played all over the world and with that comes differences. I’m not saying that I am for no standardization in tennis, but I have learned to appreciate and respect the way things are done differently around the world. Although seedings may change slightly, the current seeding system at Wimbledon isn’t completely outrageous, it’s just different.