Slippery route likely for Nadal

Slippery route likely for Nadal

Seeded fifth, the Spanish champ could run into big guns early

Rafa Nadal could face world number one Novak Djokovic, defending champion Roger Federer or home favourite Andy Murray as early as the Wimbledon quarterfinals after being announced as fifth seed for the tournament on Wednesday. 

Djokovic was named number one, with Murray second and Federer third in seedings that followed the world rankings. Spaniard Nadal, twice a winner at the All England Club and a 12-times grand slam champion, is working his way back up after a seven-month layoff due to a knee injury. 

The Wimbledon seeding reflects Nadal's current ranking, with the Mallorcan behind fourth-ranked compatriot David Ferrer whom he beat to win an eighth French Open title this month. 

John McEnroe, the retired three-times Wimbledon champion, said on Tuesday that it would be 'totally wrong' for Nadal to be seeded outside the top four. 

Wimbledon organisers can bump players up the seedings, higher than their rankings, to reflect their pedigree on grass. 

However Ferrer reached the quarterfinals last year while Nadal lost in the second round. Serena Williams is the top seed in the women's draw, with Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova second and third in accordance with the rankings. 

The draw is on Friday. 

Divij-Raja in doubles

Divij Sharan and Purav Raja will make their first ever appearance at a Grand Slam as the Indian duo qualified on Wednesday for the doubles event. Seeded fourth in the qualifying event, Divij and Purav received a walkover from their second round opponents, Andreas Haider-Maurer from Austria and Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic.