• Aegon Championships

Murray: Rafa better than No. 5 spot

ESPN staff
June 11, 2013

Andy Murray believes Rafael Nadal is better than his anticipated Wimbledon ranking, and says it is "tough" on the French Open champion that he may miss out on a place among the top four seeds.

French Open champion Nadal is currently No. 5 in the ATP world rankings - having dropped behind beaten Paris finalist David Ferrer despite defending his title - and may not see his seeding boosted after crashing out in the second round at Wimbledon in 2012.

Wimbledon bases its seeding list, announced on Wednesday, on both a player's world ranking and grass court performance and reserves the option to adjust the standings, meaning Nadal could feature among the top four seeds guaranteed to avoid one another until the semi-finals.

Should the organisers decide not to place him above Ferrer - the likely candidate considering that Murray is a former Wimbledon finalist and Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are former champions - then two-time champion Nadal will be in line for a potential quarter-final showdown with one of the four players ranked above him.

Murray, last year's beaten finalist, will be among that group. The world No. 2 believes Nadal - and other players laid low by injury for an extended period of time - would benefit from a two-year ranking system. Rankings are currently based on players' results over the past 12 months.

"Rafa will be seeded five, which is tough because he is better than that," Murray told BBC Sport. "That is unfortunately the way the ranking system works in tennis. It is a one-year ranking, whereas in something like golf it is a two-year ranking.

"Even if one of the best players gets injured, they can still maintain their ranking. In tennis, if you miss four or five months, it is almost impossible to maintain your ranking."

Murray skipped the French Open to recover from the back injury that forced him to retire for just the second time in his career at the BNL Internazionale d'Italia in Rome, and is set to make his return at the Aegon Championships at Queen's on Wednesday.

He will face either Frenchman Nicolas Mahut or American Rhyne Williams in the second round, and believes the injury is now no longer a concern.

"The last three or four days, it has felt really, really good," Murray said. "When you start back up again, things can feel stiff or sore on some days, but the last few days since I started training at Queen's it has felt a lot better.

"I have been practicing with a lot of the top players. Touch wood, it is good."

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