Novak Djokovic top seed at Wimbledon in absence of Medvedev and Zverev

No ranking points on offer at this year's Grand Slam after its decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus

Novak Djokovic during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Wimbledon Championship at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. PA
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Serbian star Novak Djokovic will head into next week's Wimbledon as the men's top seed after Russian world No 1 Daniil Medvedev was barred from taking part in the championships while Germany's second-ranked Alexander Zverev remains injured.

Organisers of the grasscourt Grand Slam have banned players from Russia and Belarus from playing at this year's Wimbledon following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

This will be the first edition of the tournament since 2019 that will be played in front of a full capacity, but things are still not completely normal.

Wimbledon's decision to bar Russian and Belarusian players has had serious repercussions, with the ATP and WTA deciding to withhold ranking points from the tournament.

Medvedev and women's No 5 Aryna Sabalenka are among those to be banned, while it remains to be seen how many leading players decide not to enter because of the lack of points on offer.

Djokovic, who was unable to defend his 2021 Australian Open title and the 2,000 ranking points he earned due to his non-vaccinated status, recently lost his No 1 spot to Medvedev.

Rafael Nadal during a practice session on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. PA

The Serbian, who has won the last three editions of the grasscourt major, will slip further down the rankings after Wimbledon as he will lose another 2,000 points with the ATP and WTA stripping the tournament of points.

The absence of Medvedev and Zverev means Nadal, who is halfway through a possible calendar year Slam after winning the Australian and French Open titles, is seeded second.

It also results in Djokovic and Nadal finding themselves in different halves of the draw and they cannot face each other until the men's final on July 10. The duo met in this year's Roland Garros quarter-final where the Spaniard won.

Britain has two players in the top 10 seeds at their home major with Cameron Norrie ninth, while US Open champion Emma Raducanu is 10th in the absence of Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

Poland's world No 1 Iga Swiatek will be the women's top seed with Estonian Annett Kontaveit the number two.

Wimbledon organisers had previously used a computer-based system favouring results on grass courts in the previous two years to determine the seedings but from the 2021 edition seedings mirror the world rankings.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray said he is hopeful of being fit for Wimbledon but admits he is in a race against time.

The two-time champion sustained an abdominal injury in his final defeat by Matteo Berrettini at the ATP event in Stuttgart eight days ago and is not yet able to practise fully.

He said: "The positives are I've been able to practise but there are certain shots I've not been able to practise, so that has obviously disrupted my preparations. The injury is healing but still not perfect.

"I've been practising for the past three or four days and have been practising well. But unfortunately in matches you can't just not hit certain shots. In the next couple of days hopefully I'll get the chance to test that and hopefully it will be fine."

Updated: June 21, 2022, 1:26 PM
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