Rafael Nadal was named fifth seed for Wimbledon on Wednesday, leaving his major title rivals to ponder meeting the 2008 and 2010 champion as early as the quarter-finals.
Nadal, the holder of 12 Grand Slam titles, and fresh from his record-breaking eighth French Open triumph in Paris, was seeded behind compatriot David Ferrer who takes the fourth seeding.
You could say if I get through that match, then the semi-final might not be as tough but if you want to win the biggest tournaments you have to beat the best players in the world
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer take the top three places. Wimbledon uses recent grasscourt performances as well as the world rankings to seed players and Nadal was not promoted after he suffered a stunning second-round defeat to Lukas Rosol at the tournament in 2012.
Ferrer, meanwhile, was a quarter-finalist last year, having already claimed the title at the s’Hertogenbosch grasscourt event in the run-up to London.
As a consequence, Nadal could face 2011 champion Djokovic, seven-time winner Federer or Murray, bidding to become Britain’s first men’s champion since Fred Perry in 1936, in the last-eight.
“I’d sign up to be in the quarter-finals against Rafa if someone offered me that,” Murray told the BBC.
“You could say if I get through that match, then the semi-final might not be as tough but if you want to win the biggest tournaments you have to beat the best players in the world.
“It doesn’t really matter where they are in the draw.”
In the women’s singles, world number one Serena Williams, the five-time champion, takes top seeding, followed by Victoria Azarenka, the Australian Open champion, with Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon winner, named the third seed.
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1), Andy Murray (GBR x2), Roger Federer (SUI x3), David Ferrer (ESP x4), Rafael Nadal (ESP x5), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x6), Tomas Berdych (CZE x7), Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x8), Richard Gasquet (FRA x9), Marin Cilic (CRO x10), Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x11), Kei Nishikori (JPN x12), Tommy Haas (GER x13), Janko Tipsarevic (SRB x14), Nicolas Almagro (ESP x15), Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x16), Milos Raonic (CAN x17), John Isner (USA x18), Gilles Simon (FRA x19), Mikhail Youzhny (RUS x20), Sam Querrey (USA x21), Juan Monaco (ARG x22), Andreas Seppi (ITA x23), Jerzy Janowicz (POL x24), Benoit Paire (FRA x25), Alexandr Dolgoplov (UKR x26), Kevin Anderson (RSA x27), Jeremy Chardy (FRA x28), Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x29), Fabio Fognini (ITA x30), Julien Benneteau (FRA x31), Tommy Robredo (ESP x32)
Serena Williams (USA x1), Victoria Azarenka (BLR x2), Maria Sharapova (RUS x3), Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x4), Sara Errani (ITA x5), Li Na (CHN x6), Angelique Kerber (GER x7), Petra Kvitova (CZE x8), Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x9), Maria Kirilenko (RUS x10), Roberta Vinci (ITA x11), Ana Ivanovic (SRB x12), Nadia Petrova (RUS x13), Samantha Stosur (AUS x14), Marion Bartoli (FRA x15), Jelena Jankovic (SRB x16), Sloane Stephens (USA x17), Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x18), Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x19), Kirsten Flipkens (BEL x20), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x21), Sorana Cirstea (ROM x22), Sabine Lisicki (GER x23), Peng Shuai (CHN x24), Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x25), Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x26), Varvara Lepchenko (USA x27), Lucie Safarova (CZE x28), Tamira Paszek (AUT x29), Alize Cornet (FRA x30), Mona Barthel (GER x31), Romina Oprandi (SUI x32)