Murray defends SW19 seeding system

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Andy Murray has backed Wimbledon's unique seeding system ahead of Friday's competition draw Andy Murray has backed Wimbledon's unique seeding system ahead of Friday's competition draw

Andy Murray has defended Wimbledon's unique seeding system, even though the reigning champion is the chief beneficiary.

Britain's double grand slam winner will learn who his opening opponent in his Wimbledon defence will be in Friday morning's draw.

The 27-year-old is ranked fifth in the world, but seeded third by the Wimbledon organising committee, who take grass court records into account to develop their own tournament favourites.

The Scottish Olympic champion's third seeding means he cannot face top two seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal until the semi-finals, and fourth favourite and seven-time tournament winner Roger Federer until the final.

Murray said he would back Wimbledon's system even if he did not stand to benefit.

"To be honest I think the way they do it is correct with the seedings," said Murray.

"Some people might say you would say that because my seeding's obviously moved up, but there are so few tournaments on grass now that there are so few points up for grabs on the surface that it is in a way a specialist surface.

"Not many guys, some guys like (Tommy) Robredo for example will only play one tournament a year on grass.

"So I think it is relevant the way the players perform on it, in terms of the seedings and how deep guys can go in the event.

"So I like the way they do the seedings, it makes this period, for the guys that do well, it helps.

"Some people like it, some don't - but being seeded third is definitely better than being seeded fifth."

Britain's frontline women's hope Heather Watson will await the draw with bated breath after a fine week's work in Eastbourne.

The wildcard entrant to the Aegon International knocked out world number 12 Flavia Pennetta in the second round on Wednesday.

Petra Kvitova withdrew from Thursday's clash, so Watson will face American Madison Keys in Friday's semi-final, the British number one now sure to climb the world rankings.

The unseeded 22-year-old will be gunning to carry her resurgence into Wimbledon, continuing her return to form after glandular fever.

British trio Dan Cox, Dan Evans and James Ward are all in the draw after receiving wild card entries, along with Cypriot and 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, bidding for UK citizenship to represent Britain in the Davis Cup, has received a lucky loser spot to the men's draw.

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