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  Friday, 8 June, 2001, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Revolt grows against Wimbledon
World number one Gustavo Kuerten in action in the French Open
Gustavo Kuerten looks set to miss Wimbledon
By BBC Sport Online's Alex Perry at Roland Garros

The All England Club faces the very real prospect of a Wimbledon tournament without three of the top five players in the world this year.

World number one Gustavo Kuerten has already suggested that he is likely to use the Wimbledon fortnight as a chance to rest after the tiring clay court season.

And Alex Corretja and Juan Carlos Ferrero have said they will make a decision based on the how the players are seeded.

"I was very positive about this tournament [Wimbledon] as I had written the dates in my diary," said Ferrero.

"But I will postpone my decision, and if they do not respect the ranking of the seeded players, I will not go."

Spain┐s Juan Carlos Ferrero is waiting for the Wimbledon seedings before deciding
Spain┐s Juan Carlos Ferrero waiting to decide
These words echo the sentiments of fellow countryman Corretja. He has also made it clear at Roland Garros that his participation at Wimbledon depends on the way the players are seeded.

In the past, the All England Club has chosen to base their seedings only loosely on the world rankings, with a heavy bias towards grass court players with a history of success at SW19.

Last year, Corretja and Albert Costa, both top 16 players, withdrew from Wimbledon on the eve of the tournament because they were left out of the seedings.

This year the All England Club have said they will change their policy to take more account of the world rankings.

But this may not be enough to assuage the clay-court specialists, who feel that a seeding is just reward for their achievements in the course of the year.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament in which the seeds are not taken directly from the world rankings.

Break

Kuerten seems almost certain of missing Wimbledon. "I think it's almost sure," he said.

"I need a break. I think to stop for just four or five days and then to start practising on grass will be too much for me."

Despite losing to Kuerten in the semi-final at Roland Garros, Ferrero has moved provisionally to number one in the Champions Race.

Kuerten is third but will go second if he wins the final, while Corretja has provisionally jumped to seventh, and could move as high as fifth if he wins the Roland Garros final.

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See also:

07 Jun 01 | French Open
07 Jun 01 | French Open
06 Jun 01 | French Open
Links to more Our Man in Paris stories are at the foot of the page.


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