2014 Wimbledon Seeds Revealed Ahead of Draw Release

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2014

Andy Murray of Britain plays a return to Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic during their Queen's Club grass court championships 3rd round tennis match in London, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

Andy Murray will defend his Wimbledon title as third seed for this year's tournament, two places above his No. 5 world ranking, after the official seedings were announced on Wednesday.

BBC Sport reported that 2013 finalist Novak Djokovic overtook Rafael Nadal to claim his place as the top-seeded participant. Nadal must settle for second seeding, and Roger Federer sits fourth.

2014 Wimbledon Men's Singles Top 10 Seeds
1Novak Djokovic (Ser)
2Rafael Nadal (Spa)
3Andy Murray (GB)
4Roger Federer (Swi)
5Stan Wawrinka (Swi)
6Tomas Berdych (Cze)
7David Ferrer (Spa)
8Milos Raonic (Can)
9John Isner (US)
10Kei Nishikori (Jpn)

Wimbledon provides a complete list of the tournament's seeds.

The system's format means that none of the four may meet one another before the semi-final stage of the tournament.

However, the Daily Mail's Mike Dickson notes that the impending changes to the tennis calendar, which will place more of an emphasis on grass-court play, will weaken the case for Wimbledon's right to special seedings in the future:

This year's Australian Open champion, Stanislas Wawrinka, is one victim of the special layout, dropping from world No. 3 to fifth overall seed at Wimbledon due to his performances in the competition over the past two years.

The Swiss said he is relaxed about his position, however, according to the BBC report:

Wimbledon, they do what they want. For me it's fine. I knew that with my past two years on grass I didn't have any results, so for sure my ranking will drop a little bit for the seedings.

At the end of the day, it doesn't change much. You have to play well. You have to start the tournament well if you want to go far, and that's simple.

Elsewhere, five-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams takes her place as the No. 1 seed in the women's singles, hoping to regain the title that now-retired Marion Bartoli took in last year's contest.

2014 Wimbledon Women's Singles Top 10 Seeds
1Serena Williams (US)
2Li Na (Chn)
3Simona Halep (Rom)
4Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol)
5Maria Sharapova (Rus)
6Petra Kvitova (Cze)
7Jelena Jankovic (Ser)
8Victoria Azarenka (Blr)
9Angelique Kerber (Ger)
10Dominika Cibulkova (Svk)
BBC Sport

Li Na of China and Simona Halep of Romania are seeded- and third-seeded, respectively, while Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova sit just outside the top four, in fifth and sixth.

Murray may find himself fortunate that Wimbledon accounts for a player's strengths when playing on grass court. His chances of retaining the title look all the more encouraging with some of the world's biggest names at least held off until the latter stages.

The Scot's 2013 triumph was the first time any Briton had won the Wimbledon championship since Fred Perry in 1936.

Defending the crown would therefore seem just as mountainous a task, but Murray will undoubtedly have benefited from the experience of winning such a coveted major—in front of a home crowd, no less.

He will now join his rivals in awaiting Friday's Wimbledon draw, which will determine which path each player must take to win the year's third Grand Slam.