TENNIS

Nadal handed tough draw at Wimbledon Championships

All England Club elects to stick to world rankings, putting Majorcan, Murray and Federer in same half

Rafael Nadal changes his shirt during a training session at Wimbledon in London on Saturday.
Rafael Nadal changes his shirt during a training session at Wimbledon in London on Saturday.STEFAN WERMUTH (Reuters)

Rafael Nadal faces a daunting task at Wimbledon to reclaim the trophy he won in 2008 and 2010 after being drawn in the same half of the field as Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

The All England Club has the right to seed players as it wishes, given that it is a private club and has done so in the past. However, it elected to hand Nadal the seeding that corresponds to his ranking: number five. Thus, Nadal and Federer are projected to meet in the quarterfinals, which would be their earliest encounter ever at a Grand Slam. The winner of that match will play world number two Murray in the semifinals if the seeding holds true. Murray is projected to play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals.

The big beneficiary of the decision not to bump Nadal up to four is world number one Novak Djokovic, who cannot face a fellow member of the so-called "big four" until the final.

Ferrer break

David Ferrer, the current interloper in that heralded company, and fresh from a maiden Grand Slam final in Paris, is the second-highest seed in Djokovic's half and a potential semifinal opponent.

The decision not to switch Nadal and Ferrer was mildly controversial as the latter has only reached the last eight once. But Ferrer's form over the past couple of seasons warrants a mini-break. His projected last-eight opponent is Juan Martín del Potro.

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