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Beyond the Baseline

Wimbledon seedings alter slightly from ATP rankings, women line up

Mardy Fish Wimbledon Mardy Fish received a bump in the seedings to No. 10 due to his quarterfinal run in Wimbledon 2011. (SI)

The official list of the Wimbledon 2012 seedings are out and while there are no changes for the women, there are a few alterations for the men. Unlike the other three Slams, the great tennis authorities at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club reserve the right to ignore the official ATP and WTA rankings and shuffle the players around in order to give a bump to certain players who have shown particular prowess and success on grass. Isn't that just so British?

This year, the women's seedings follow the WTA rankings, meaning the AELTC felt no need to shuffle the seeds. Interestingly, the committee applies a much more arbitrary set of criteria to the women than the men. While the men's seedings are based on a very specific formula (ATP points + grass court points from the last 12 months + 75 percent of grass court points from the 12 months before that) the women's criteria is less than clear. The committee simply uses the WTA rankings "except where in the opinion of the committee, a change is necessary to produce a balanced draw." That's an odd and seemingly unnecessarily disparate set of criteria.

If the committee did apply the same mathematical formula to the women, surely Serena Williams would get a bump (benefiting from her champion's points from 2010), as would Marion Bartoli (2011 Wimbledon quarterfinalist and 2011 Eastbourne champion), and Sabine Lisicki (2011 Wimbledon semifinalist and Eastbourne champion). And if the committee were to apply the formula to players outside of the top 32, Tsvetana Pironkova, who made the semis in 2010 and quarters last year, would have surely earned herself a seeding, and rightfully so.

While the women's seeds remain unchanged, the ATP seeds do see some shuffling, with application of the aforementioned formula. The biggest mover: Bernard Tomic, ranked No. 27, will be seeded No. 20 for Wimbledon thanks to his quarterfinal run last year. Similarly, Mikhail Youzhny sees his seeding go up six spots to No. 26 due to making the fourth round last year.

As for the Americans, Mardy Fish gets a two spot bump to No. 10 (welcome back, Mardy), which slides John Isner down a spot to No. 11, and for those who were worried that Andy Roddick, currently ranked No. 33 and thus unseeded for Wimbledon (risking a first round clash with the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, or Rafael Nadal), worry no more. Gael Monfils' withdrawal from Wimbledon meant Roddick would have gone in as the No. 32 seed, and the AELTC has given him a two spot bump to No. 30.

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