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Alex Corretja and Albert Costa
"We thought they would respect our ranking"
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The BBC's Sue Barker
Talks the John Barrett & John Lloyd
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Monday, 26 June, 2000, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
'Voice of tennis' calls for new approach

John Barrett says tennis must get its house in order
Wimbledon TV commentator John Barrett has called for a new seeding system to be adopted for the game's major tournaments.

BBC television's Barrett, a member of the seedings committee at SW19, confessed the row over the championships' rankings was not unexpected and admitted a more objective system should be implemented.

Spanish duo Alex Corretja and Albert Costa both withdrew from the tournament on Sunday, after complaining that grasscourt players had been given preferential treatment.

I think we need an objective seeding system that all the Grand Slam's will follow

The BBC's voice of tennis John Barrett
Corretja, Costa and Juan Carlos Ferrero, all ranked among the top 16 in the ATP Tour rankings, missed out on being seeded because of their poor record on grass.

Ferrero subsequently withdrew, claiming a late back injury.

"The seeding purpose has always been, and still is, to get the best 16 players on grass into the latter stages of the tournament," Barnett said.

"And if you look down the ATP ranking list, the best fast-court players - because so much is now played on clay - are sometimes not among the world's top 16.

Former British ace John Lloyd criticised the seedings st SW19
Former British ace John Lloyd criticised the seedings st SW19
"I can fully understand the concerns of Corretja and Costa for not playing because it is not entirely objective.

"The purpose over the next 12 months will be to design a system that is entirely objective and not subjective."

Former British number one John Lloyd agreed.

"In the old days, when more tournaments were played on grass, there was more data to go on," he said.

But now you only have Wimbledon and you can't base the seedings on last year's results."

Barnett said it was vital tennis got its house in order and designed a system that reflected current form.

"I think we all agree that the French Open's seedings are equally false," he said.

"And I think we need an objective system that all the Grand Slam's will follow."

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