Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Dubious Honour Goes to Nadal

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Dubious Honour Goes to Nadal

Article excerpt

WORLD No.1 Rafael Nadal, as expected, is the top seed in the Australian Open men's singles championship. But it may well prove a dubious honour.

While Nadal is no doubt delighted to be the best tennis player in the world, the No.1 seeds at the Australian Open don't necessarily have an outstanding record.

In the 40 years of Open tennis, only 12 top-ranked male players have won the championship.

Among the names to lose when seeded to win are Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Ivan Lendl (five times), Pete Sampras, who lost three as top seed and won two, and Lleyton Hewitt who infamously went out in the first round when he was world No.1 in 2002.

Even Roger Federer, who is the second seed this year, has twice failed when his name appeared on the top line of the draw. The women have done better with 17 top-seed winners in the past 40 years.

It remains to be seen whether being No.1 will assist Serbia's Jelena Jankovic who inherited the honour this year when Maria Sharapova pulled out. …

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