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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 06:08 GMT 07:08 UK
Lloyd slams seeding committee
It is not often that John Lloyd gets angry.
But after Britain's Greg Rusedski was knocked out of Wimbledon's first round by Vince Spadea, a player who had lost his last 21 matches, the former mixed doubles champion blasted the seeding committee for not seeding Spanish players Alex Corretja, Albert Costa and Juan Carlos Ferrero.
"The seedings by the committee were an absolute disgrace," Lloyd said.
"Gone are the days when the US and Australian Opens were on grass and a judgement could be made on a player's seeding based on nine or 10 tournaments.
"He's 18 in the world, Rusedski is around 21st. And Martin got to the semi-finals of Wimbledon last year and the final of the US Open, which is better than Greg so how come he leapfrogged over Todd in the rankings?
"In essence you're making a judgement based on last year's Wimbledon, because Queen's, Halle and Nottingham are warm-up events.
"No disrespect, but the player's aren't going to play at 100% in those because Wimbledon is the tournament they're focussing on. So to base your criteria on just that is ludicrous.
"How can the committee make a decision not to seed Ferrero when he's never played on grass. That to me is arrogance.
"Sir Geoffrey Cass, who used to be the LTA President is one, but what are his qualifications? Then there's Clive Thomson who is a member from the Scottish LTA, who was never a professional tennis player and Mike Hann, who was a fair player.
" Do they go around the tournaments? No. And there's Ken Weatherley. Those four people have no qualifications to make a judgement call.
"The other three are Alan Mills and John Barrett, who you can justify, and Ann Jones, who was an ex-Wimbledon champion, although I'm not sure that justifies her changing the men's seeds.
"So you've got people making seeding decisions who shouldn't be allowed to make those decisions."
Commentating for BBC TV, Lloyd witnessed the entire Rusedski-Spadea five-set epic and admitted he did not expect a match between two struggling players to be so exciting.
"What with Spadea's dreadful run and Greg's poor year and the match being on Court One in front of a partisan crowd, it was a really emotional roller coaster of a match.
"But now Greg's out, the nation will be pinning all its hopes on Tim Henman. There is a support cast, but to be honest they've been lacking for quite a few years, so you always hope the main act survives.
"Now one of the main acts has gone, it all comes down to Tim."
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Men's singles draw
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