LONDON: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will be among the top seeds at this year's tournament despite having slipped down the ATP world ranking to eighth, organisers announced on Tuesday. “We have a surfaced-based seeding system here at Wimbledon," All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) chairman Philip Brook told a press conference at the tournament venue in south London.
“So we take the ranking points of each player, and add to that the ranking points they hypothetically received last year on grass, and we add to that 75 percent of the best-performing tournament in the previous year. “So to put it into context for Andy Murray, as winner of Queen's last year and winner here last year, and a finalist here in 2012, there will be a significant impact on him. “There will also be quite a significant impact on (Roger) Federer and (Novak) Djokovic. There will be some adjustment."
Organisers also defended a move to increase the prize money for first-round losers by nearly 15 percent to £27,000 ($45,400, 32,900 euros). Total prize money has gone up 10.8 percent to £25m, with the winners of the men's and women's singles finals each in line to take home £1.76m, compared to £1.6m in 2013. “I slightly take issue with the notion that players will turn up and lose," said AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis. “I have to make the point that the players have worked hard to get there. Either they have got into the championships through their ranking, so that's 12 months of play before, or there are some wild cards. “So to portray it as £27,000 for turning up and doing nothing, I don't think that's valid."
Lewis also said that there were no plans to make alterations to any of the courts, despite a number of leading players having complained that they were too slippery during last year's tournament. “I think in hindsight that was more of an anecdotal problem over a couple of days, and only one or two players took issue with it," he said. “Wimbledon is played on a natural surface and of course the conditions change over the duration of the tournament. So we don't feel there are any issues to address on that." Wimbledon this year runs from June 23 to July 6.
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