Roger Federer’s hopes of earning a crucial top-four seeding at Wimbledon are likely to depend on how well he does in two German grass-court events this summer.
The announcement last week by the 20-time Grand Slam champion that he has had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee means his ranking will fall from No. 3 to somewhere just inside the Top 10 when he is due to make his comeback in June.
But Wimbledon’s grass-court seeding formula, which rewards players for their performances on grass over the previous two years, will bump him up the rankings, perhaps even into the top four.
That’s important to his chances because it would mean the 38-year-old Swiss, the world’s top-paid tennis player according to FORBES who has won Wimbledon eight times, would avoid the top three – including defending champion Novak Djokovic and two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal – until at least the semifinals.
Federer hasn’t been seeded outside of the Top 4 at Wimbledon since 2002. He last won the title in 2017.
Just how high he ends up this year is likely to depend on whether he plays in grass-court events in Stuttgart and Halle in June, and then how well performs in either or both.
Wimbledon, which starts June 29, is the only one of the four majors to deviate from the rankings lists when it comes to seedings, though their “grass-court formula” is only applied to the men’s event.
Based on last year, here’s how the Wimbledon seeding formula will work in 2020:
Take the ATP Ranking points at 24 June 2020, then add 100% of the points earned for all grass-court tournaments in the immediate past 12 months period prior to 24 June 2020. Add 75% of the points earned for the best grass-court tournament in the 12 months prior to that.
At the time of writing, Federer was sitting at No. 3 in the ATP Tour rankings with 7,130 points. HIs absence from tournaments in Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome and Roland- Garros will cost him a total of 3,180 points, dropping him back to 3,950 points.
The 500 points he gained for winning Halle last year will drop off on June 22, two days before the Wimbledon seedings are done. If Federer doesn not play in Stuttgart and/or Halle, that would take him back to 3,450 points.
Based on 2019, that points total would put his ranking around the No. 8 mark, depending on the performances of others.
But if he were to play in Germany, and win Stuttgart (250 points) and Halle (500), his rankings total as of June 22 would be 4,200 points.
That would then be supplemented by the grass-court formula, adding 1,200 points for reaching the finals at Wimbledon in 2019 and a maximum of 750 if he wins Halle and Stuttgart. A further 375 points (75% of his Halle 2019 points) would be added, taking him to a maximum of 6,525 points going into Wimbledon, which would almost certainly be enough to put him in the top four.
Even if he does not play Stuttgart and Halle, his total would still be 5,025, giving him a good chance of making the top four, but if he does play either or both events, his chances will be that much greater.
The seedings for Wimbledon are due to be released on Wednesday, June 24.