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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Djokovic, Swiatek get top billings for men's and women's singles at Wimbledon

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London, June 21 (Ajit Weekly News) Defending champion Novak Djokovic and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek have been named the top seeds in men’s and women’s singles respectively for the upcoming Wimbledon 2022.

In the absence of World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and World No. 2 Alexander Zverev, two-time champion Rafael Nadal gets second seeding in the prestigious grasscourt Grand Slam, starting from June 27.

The All England Club, the organiser of the Wimbledon Grand Slam, has banned players from Russia and Belarus following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Zverev had surgery on torn ligaments in his right ankle this month after he was forced to retire from his French Open semifinal against Nadal.

Serena Williams, seven times Wimbledon singles champion, will be the unseeded name everyone will be looking for when the ladies’ draw is made. The 40-year-old hasn’t played since she was forced to retire during her opening match at the 2021 Championships.

The singles and doubles seeding lists were announced on Tuesday ahead of the draw ceremony on Friday (June 24).

Djokovic, the defending champion, will aim to win a seventh men’s singles title and 21st Grand Slam in all.

Polish world No.1 Swiatek enters the tournament on the back of a 35-match winning streak after claiming her second Roland Garros trophy in early June. She has won her last six events and has not lost a match since mid-February.

Swiatek has never been past the fourth round at the All England Club but the 21-year-old won the girls’ singles title in 2018.

Last year’s ladies’ singles champion, Ashleigh Barty, announced her sudden retirement in March and therefore won’t be back to defend her title.

The 2008 and 2010 champion Rafael Nadal is back as the No. 2 seed after winning the opening two Grand Slams of the year in Melbourne and Paris, taking his taaly to 22.

Norway’s Roland Garros runner-up, Casper Ruud, and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas are the third and fourth seeds, respectively.

Italy’s 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini, who has won two grass-court tournaments in two weeks since his return from hand surgery, secures the No.8 seeding. Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz — winner of four ATP titles this year — is the No.5 seed.

Other in-form players among the list of 32 include No.7 seed and last week’s Halle champion Hubert Hurkacz, and No.14 seed and 2017 Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic.

Former two-time champion Andy Murray and grass-court danger man Nick Kyrgios will both be unseeded when the draw is made in three days.

Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit will anchor the ladies’ draw as the No. 2 seed, with Tunisia’s recent Berlin grass-court champion Ons Jabeur the third seed ahead of Spanish No. 4 seed P’ula Badosa. The 2021 ladies’ runner-up, Karolina Pliskova, is sixth on the list.

Four recent former champions will attract attention once the play gets underway. The 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza gets the No. 9 seeding, and 2018 winner Angelique Kerber will be seeded No. 15, one spot ahead of 2019 champion Simona Halep. Czech lefty Petra Kvitova, twice a Wimbledon champion, finds herself 25th on the seedings list.

Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia is seeded at a slam for the first time in her career after winning two titles on the grass in two weeks, in Nottingham and Birmingham. She now has a career-high ranking of No. 29 and is seeded No. 23.

Others to follow closely include the twice quarterfinalist Karolina Muchova, Canada’s 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and Croatia’s Donna Vekic, who is a former WTA grass-court title winner and who reached the fourth round at the Championships in 2018.

–Ajit Weekly News

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