The Wimbledon seeds are announced, and the usual debate ensues

LONDON – It used to be that to make their double-secret list of seeded players, the people charged with such things at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club used to lock themselves away in some secret location, fortified by a pot of tea or six (or maybe some Pimm's), and emerge with the players who were fortunate enough to be seeded at the Championships.

We're just kidding, but sometimes it felt like that, since they rarely explained the rationale behind certain seeding decisions. And yes, people complained: players, coaches, fans on the Internet.

Since 2001, the tournament has used a specific grass-court seeding formula to try to make it equitable for all and a little more transparent. It's the only tournament where they do this and, to be fair, it makes sense; the grass-season is short (three weeks), and certainly there are specific skills that work well on the quicker, skiddy surface even if the playing field – literally, the court surface –has never been more level or homogenized regardless of whether it's cement, dirt or grass.

The formula works as follows: Take the number of rankings points or each player as of Monday, add 100 percent of the points earned for all grass-court tournaments played in the last 12 months. Then, add 75 per cent of the points for the best grass-court result in the 12 month prior to that. Shake, stir, serve.

Oh, did we mention the special seedings apply only for the men? The women go strictly by the WTA Tour rankings. Just to make things even clearer. Well, except when they don't, sometimes they make "exceptions" for super-secret reasons. This is part of the maddening "charm" of Wimbledon.

On Wednesday, the seeds were announced for this year's edition of Wimbledon, which gets under way on Monday.

The noteworthy changes are that world No. 2 Novak Djokovic is ranked ahead of world No. 1, and French Open champion, Rafael Nadal and that reigning champion Andy Murray, ranked No. 5, is seeded No. 3.

The formula also swapped out Swiss mates Roger Federer (who will be No. 4) and Stan Wawrinka (down to No. 5); Wawrinka being out of the top four seeds means, in essence, that the Australian Open champion's way through the draw gets a little tougher from the fourth round on, because he will face high-ranked players than he would have, had he been seeded according to his ranking.

Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, a semifinalist a year ago, also benefits. Currently ranked No. 24 and in line for the No. 22 seed in the absence of Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina and Tommy Haas of Germany, Janowicz gets bumped all the way to No. 15. In 2012, Janowicz went through three rounds of qualifying and all the way to the third round of the main draw.

It's an ironic seed, of course; Janowicz's play this season is nowhere near the level he displayed in 2013. As well, Janowicz lost in the first round of the Halle, Germany warmup event last week to a Frenchman ranked No. 135.

Spaniards Fernando Verdasco (still in the warmup event this week in s'-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands) and Feliciano Lopez (a finalist on the grass at Queen's Club last weekend) also get a seedings bump.

On the plus side, no one who theoretically would have earned a seed by ranking got shut out of the top 32 because of the grass-court formula (conversely, because they only do this for the top 32 players, anyone below that who has good grass-court results cannot benefit).

Here are the 32 men's seeds.

Gentlemen’s Singles
[1] DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB)
[2] NADAL, Rafael (ESP)
[3] MURRAY, Andy (GBR)
[4] FEDERER, Roger (SUI)
[5] WAWRINKA, Stan (SUI)
[6] BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE)
[7] FERRER, David (ESP)
[8] RAONIC, Milos (CAN)
[9] ISNER, John (USA)
[11] DIMITROV, Grigor (BUL)
[12] GULBIS, Ernests (LAT)
[13] GASQUET, Richard (FRA)
[14] TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
[15] JANOWICZ, Jerzy (POL)
[16] FOGNINI, Fabio (ITA)
[17] YOUZHNY, Mikhail (RUS)
[18] VERDASCO, Fernando (ESP)
[19] LOPEZ, Feliciano (ESP)
[20] ANDERSON, Kevin (RSA)
[21] DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr (UKR)
[23] ROBREDO, Tommy (ESP)
[24] MONFILS, Gael (FRA)
[25] ALMAGRO, Nicolas (ESP)
[26] SEPPI, Andreas (ITA)
[27] CILIC, Marin (CRO)
[28] BAUTISTA AGUT, Roberto (ESP)
[29] GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo (ESP)
[30] KARLOVIC, Ivo (CRO)
[31] GRANOLLERS, Marcel (ESP)
[32] TURSUNOV, Dmitry (RUS)

On the women's side, there were no "exceptions" this year. The seeds are straight up. Perhaps there might have been, if former champion Venus Williams hadn't made it into the top 32. But she's in.

1. Serena Williams (USA)
2. Li Na (CHN)
3. Simona Halep (ROU)
4. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
5. Maria Sharapova (RUS)
6. Petra Kvitova (CZE)
7. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
8. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
9. Angelique Kerber (GER)
10. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
11. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
12. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
13. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)
14. Sara Errani (ITA)
15. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP)
16. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
17. Samantha Stosur (AUS)
18. Sloane Stephens (USA)
19. Sabine Lisicki (GER)
20. Andrea Petkovic (GER)
21. Roberta Vinci (ITA)
22. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
23. Lucie Safarova (CZE)
24. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
25. Alizé Cornet (FRA)
26. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
27. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP)
28. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
29. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)
30. Venus Williams (USA)
31. Klara Koukalova (CZE)
32. Elena Vesnina (RUS )

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