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Carlos Alcaraz replaces Novak Djokovic as men’s top seed at Wimbledon

Queen's Club champ Carlos Alcaraz will be top seed at Wimbledon.

Queen's Club champ Carlos Alcaraz will be top seed at Wimbledon. Photo: AP

Carlos Alcaraz, and not four-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, has been seeded No.1 for the men’s championship at Wimbledon this year.

Iga Swiatek is the women’s top seed as the All England Club once again adhered strictly to the ATP and WTA rankings.

Australian Nick Kyrgios, who reached last year’s final but lost to Djokovic, is seeded 31st, even as an injury cloud hangs over his participation.

Alex de Minaur, the national No.1, is the other seeded Australian, and thanks to his brilliant run to the Queen’s Club Championship final, he has a precious top-16 ranking as No.15, which in theory should give him the best chance to make it to the second week.

Kyrgios, the world No.33 who pulled out of the Mallorca Open this week still citing problems with his knee injury, has been given a seeding only because Karen Khachanov and Pablo Carreno Busta have pulled out with injury.

And there will be more pressure on the Canberra player to make an early decision to pull out in fairness to other players should he feel he won’t be fit to play.

At the moment, he is due to address the press on Saturday and is still scheduled to have a crack at his ninth Wimbledon, even though he’s played only one competitive match in nine months.

For de Minaur, being the 15th seed can only be helpful, although he noted after his loss to Alcaraz in the Queen’s final: “There’s a lot of very dangerous players that are unseeded, and that can be very tricky, but a top-16 seeding is a good spot to be in.

“Hopefully, I can have a good Wimbledon, and reach a career-high, but I’m taking it very, very slowly.”

Alcaraz took over from Djokovic atop the men’s standings on Monday, but although Wimbledon go strictly by the rankings, there are still those who believe Djokovic, the defending champ who has not played since collecting his men’s-record 23rd grand slam title at the French Open over two weeks ago, should be top seed.

He’s won the championship each of the last four times it was held – and seven times overall – but didn’t benefit from a ranking boost in 2022 because the ATP and WTA withheld all points to protest against the All England Club’s decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine.

Russians and Belarusians can play this year, with Russian Daniil Medvedev seeded No.3 in the men’s draw and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the Australian Open champ, No.2 in the women’s field.

Casper Ruud is No.4 of the 32 men’s seeds, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe.

But two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who’d been making great strides towards a last-minute seeding, eventually fell short as No.39 in the world.

Swiatek has been ranked No.1 since April 2022 and owns four grand slam titles, most recently at the French Open, but she’s never been past the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Elena Rybakina, the 2022 women’s champion, is No.3 among the women’s 32 seeds, although there’s question marks over her participation after recent viral illnesses.

-AAP

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